Dance has spoken about its e-bike subscription model in a recent interview with Zag Daily. Recent tweaks to its approach include offering contactless collections and making the majority of its repairs through mobile mechanics.
Co-founder Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss spoke about the company’s business model, saying that most of its cost base comes through operations: delivering/picking up vehicles, moving them around, repairing them, servicing them, and insurance.
“For example, in Paris, we work with a tech-enabled garage company called Yes Park,” he said. “Customers access the garage with an app, pick their bike up with a QR code, onboard using a video, and ride away.
“Until recently, we were using personnel. Now everything is contactless. We can optimise logistic routes, pick up and deliver to only a few spots, and do it in the off hours. We’re also constantly improving things like route planning and minimising the amount of people involved.”
Servicing is still in-field, he added, with the vast majority of repairs carried out by mobile mechanics.
“If a vehicle cannot be serviced in the field, we replace it with a new one. We are also learning everything about every single repair, what breaks down, how we can improve it, so we can continue to iterate.”
Dance currently operates in five cities - Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Vienna - and says it has witnessed an “overwhelming response” from urban dwellers seeking sustainable mobility options.
Quidenus-Wahlforss also says that Dance is becoming one of the biggest fleet operators in Paris, with over 10,000 members.
“Big, dense, trendsetting cities are where the model works best and we’ve seen significant interest based on our waitlist," he said.
“However, we are also looking at the trade-off between service level and footprint to make sure that the model can also work with a lower level of subscribers. In larger cities, it will be tens of thousands. In small cities, it might be low thousands, or even one thousand. I think over time, there needs to be different tiers of service levels.”
Speaking in 2020, Quidenus-Wahlforss said owning a car in densely populated cities and other urban areas, “shouldn’t be an option,” since cleaner, greener and bike-friendly public infrastructure is increasingly expanding.
"These areas are expensive and congested with commuter traffic. Dance is a holistic solution built for the person interested in saving time, the environment and staying healthy.
“We analysed the overall mobility market, evaluated all means of transport, and crunched the numbers on all types of business models for a few years before we found what we were looking for. Dance is by far the most viable future of biking, bridging the gap between e-bike ownership and more joyful accessibility to go places.”