Launched by two former Birds, Bloom arrives in Paris on Thursday, April 15. This electric bicycle rental service is available at a price of 59 euros per month, without obligation. Theft and breakage insurance is included in the offer.
With the resounding success of muscle and electric bikes since the end of the first confinement in May 2020, projects abound in the sector. Their use has increased considerably in one year, as has rental by race or by subscription. This is evidenced by the success of the Véligo service, which was overwhelmed by demand last year.
For Driss Ibenmansour and Antoine Bouttier, respectively former general manager and operations manager at Bird France, the observation is as follows: the purchase price of an VAE is too high today and the offers of free floating do not meet all expectations due to sometimes high costs and dysfunctional models.
Focus on safety
It is on the basis of this premise that the duo decided to embark on a new entrepreneurial adventure by the name of Bloom. The idea: to offer an electric bike for hire, without obligation, for a price of 59 euros per month. And to stand out from the others, the offer is enriched with services able to attract as many people as possible.
«We have set up an all exclusive offer, with insurance against theft and breakage and a repair service on demand», Explains Driss Ibenmansour. “We really want to focus on the user experience, with a wow effect», Continues the person concerned.
And to continue: “We want to break down the barriers: the barriers of price, theft and repair. We do this by paying the cost of the bike on a monthly basis, and by doing a lot of work on the flight thanks to a GPS chip. If the bike is stolen, we can deploy a team to try to get it back. Otherwise, the bike is fully insured ».
A bicycle supplied by Zoov: what characteristics are expected?
The pair also wanted to put technology and software at the heart of its specifications, thanks to a “application that will greatly enrich the experience», Assures the co-founder. It will be used for “track, locate, track driving data, kilometers traveled, even the number of calories burned and quantity of CO2 saved».
A navigation service will also be invited into the app ‘. And good news, the user will not have to buy a physical support to keep his smartphone on the handlebars and follow the evolution of his journey live. The bicycle made available to customers already has one.
The bicycle, in fact, is provided by the Zoov brand, known for having deployed a self-service electric bicycle service in 19 cities in the south of Paris (from the south of Hauts-de-Seine to Paris-Saclay) and in Bordeaux. Weighing 23 kilos all the same, this two-wheeler connected to the right to a battery of 345.6 Wh offering a range of 50 kilometers.
Placed on the rear hub, the Shengyi 250 W motor is accompanied by a torque sensor: enough to provide electric assistance proportional to the force you put into the pedals. A system that can be found in many electric bikes, in short. Also note the presence of 26-inch wheels and an aluminum frame.
Gamify the experience
On the braking side, the cycle reassures thanks to Shimano’s know-how: at the front, it is equipped with a hydraulic disc brake, against a drum brake at the rear. And because it is definitely focused on safety, the machine has an integrated anti-theft device that blocks the rear wheel when the bike is not activated.
As such, the mount is dependent on the application and on a smartphone: to unlock the bike, you must use your mobile device. This is a limit: in the event of a dead phone battery or theft, you will not be able to use your bike. This system was once tested by Cowboy, before a recent more than welcome update.
However, this unblocking process “is brought to evolve», Warns Driss Ibenmansour. “Then it is rare not to have your phone, it is an extreme case“, He also wants to temper. Changes, Mr Ibenmansour foresees a certain number in the more or less near future. And there is no shortage of innovative ideas.
«We aim to create a credit system that unlocks certain levels and promotions in order to gamify the experience. We will have business partners from the cycling world or not. The more you ride, the more promotions or freebies you will unlock», Projects Driss Ibenmansour.
Paris at first
« After 400 kilometers with your bike, you will, for example, be entitled to a Closca folding helmet», He announces. The entrepreneur goes even further and will seek to “create a leaderboard», To become, in a way, the Strava of soft mobility. “We could have competitions between friends, we really want to gamify the experience», He insists.
In the longer term, without the interested party slipping us from precise time frames, Bloom wishes to create a real community which could share a Bloom bike among its members. “We can register on the application, see the bikes available around us, and use one», Explains the HEC graduate.
For its launch, Bloom will focus on a booming Parisian market. “We want to succeed and show that the model works in Paris. There is a large community of cyclists and a lot of infrastructure. It is a bit of a mobility laboratory, and therefore represents a great opportunity to launch the service. ».
Obviously, and depending on the company’s results, Bloom will tackle other French agglomerations in the future, such as Strasbourg and Bordeaux as a priority, then Marseille and Lyon. “These are interesting cities for us“. But for the moment, only Paris benefits from it.
Bloom: registration and points system on the menu
Moreover, a registration system has been set up to qualify for one of the electric bikes available. “It is an invitation-only system, with around a hundred bikes launched at first», Specifies Driss Ibenmansour. The principle is simple: go to the Bloom site and make a request after answering a few questions.
To increase your chance of being one of the lucky ones, a point system has been favored by Bloom. Inviting friends, liking the company’s Facebook page, sending the invitation via Messenger or WhatsApp and following them on Instagram earns you between one and three points.
«The interest is to have a maximum audience. By doing all this, you move up the waiting list“. A give and take system that could have its effect.