Puma Private Equity has led the £3.4 million Series A extension round into specialist cycle and e-mobility insurer, Bikmo to accelerate European expansion and drive product innovation. With the European cycling market growing rapidly, the B Corp certified specialist insurer protects over 75,000 riders in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Austria and is currently focusing on expanding into other European markets and supporting multinational partners.
As the cycle market grows, the European Parliament has called for 2024 to be the ‘Year of Cycling’ to double the distance covered by cyclists by 2030. E-bike adoption is also rising significantly with UK electric bike sales growing by over 40% in 20201 while 50% of bike sales in Germany were e-bike sales in 20222 . Bikmo has capitalised on this trend, 40% of new policyholders insure e-bikes and the company offers a range of insurance products to protect every type of cyclist from road cyclists and triathletes to daily commuters. It covers both individuals and commercial risks for brands including Deliveroo, plus it offers extras to protect cyclists such as legal protection and breakdown assistance.
The award-winning business has scaled significantly since launch through securing strategic partnerships with leading organisations such as British Cycling and Cyclescheme and has delivered an 85%+ retention rate on existing customers year on year. Customer satisfaction is strong, Bikmo has scored ratings of 4.5 out of 5 on both TrustPilot and Feefo. It has driven growth through securing investment partners Hiscox, Development Bank of Wales and new investor, Puma Private Equity. In addition, it has built a core platform of microservices, an API ecosystem and data insights that enable Bikmo to move fast across territories, products and verticals.
Its newly developed API technology means it can deliver embedded insurance solutions (insurance that can be purchased as part of another product or service transaction) through retail, manufacturing and other partners to integrate the product into their customer journeys to maximise conversions. Bikmo has delivered its first fully embedded insurance solution with BuyCycle in Germany and is focusing on integrating embedded solutions with new and relevant existing partners.
Louise Towers, CFO, Bikmo comments:
“We’re delighted to close this round and onboard Puma Private Equity as we accelerate growth in the UK and Europe, continuing to increase our footprint and capitalise on the increasing opportunities in the wider bike and mobility sectors. Working with a company aligned with our values combined with their depth of experience in international growth across a wide range of technology-enabled sectors is a perfect match for Bikmo.
“This investment will also allow us to increase penetration in existing territories whilst retaining our strong lifetime values that demonstrates our strong route to profitability across all our markets.”
Kelvin Reader, Investment Director, Puma Private Equity commented:
“We are really excited to be backing Bikmo at this significant stage in their growth journey. They are ideally placed as one of the UK’s largest specialist bike insurers to capitalise on the e-bike movement and the increasing number of people opting to use bikes as a mode of transport. CEO, David George and his team launched the business with a mission to build a service that enables riders to spend more time doing what they love and that is still at the heart of what they are delivering. Having secured notable partnerships and built API technology to maximise conversions they’re on an impressive growth trajectory.
“We are also thrilled to back another company in the North West, our first deal since we set up a Manchester office to expand our presence in the North with Investment Director, Mark Lyons and new recruit Emily Bourne. We are well placed to support the next generation of exceptional scale-up businesses emerging from the region.”
Anthony Favell, E‑commerce Trading Manager, Brompton commented:
“We started working with Bikmo in 2017 to protect Brompton riders and their bikes. They developed bespoke features like 25% lower pricing thanks to Bromptons being a lower risk, and courtesy Brompton bikes for customers waiting for a replacement from our London factory. Since launching in the UK, Bikmo has expanded the partnership to other Brompton markets and we look forward to exploring how their latest investment and upcoming growth plans will take our partnership forward.”
As a BCorp and 1% For The Planet Business Member, Bikmo is committed to better business. It is an active advocate for the cycle sector and supports bike and outdoor non-profits that improve the world for cyclists. The business is committed to making a positive impact on society and the environment by getting more people on bikes.
Puma Private Equity offers growth capital and expertise to best-in-class, ambitious businesses across the UK, irrespective of sector, and works in partnership with management to help businesses scale and create long-term value. It aims to deliver insight, expertise, and a fresh perspective to the portfolio companies it partners with. Having invested in and worked with many organisations across a breadth of sectors, Puma Private Equity has deep insights and experience in scaling businesses for growth and where desired, successful sale and exit.
Puma Private Equity’s advisers to the round include Shoosmiths, Ashurst, Squirrel and Johnston Carmichael. Brabners advised Bikmo on the round.