Someone Finished Riding 'Seabiscuit' 🚲 — You Made 50¢ 💰

The Case for Decentralised Ownership in Micro-Mobility

In this article, I would like to share a new idea that I think is quite powerful: decentralised ownership in micro-mobility.

Bike-sharing, as we know it today, is not a sharing business. It's a rental business. You source capital, invest it in assets, and rent those assets out to users. The only way it actually differs from traditional bike rental is that the check-in / check-out process is fully dematerialised, making it so much more convenient.

  • solves the acceptability problem: people today complain about scooters that “they came out of nowhere”, that “no one ever asked for them”, and that “they are cluttering the city”. Yet, somehow nobody seems to complain about the zillions of cars parked on the sidewalks, which is a problem much more likely to impact people's daily lives. Decentralising the ownership of the pony bikes means they don’t feel like an alien invasion, someone specifically asked for each one of them. They belong to real people.
  • may even contribute to reducing the vandalism problem. A sense of community is naturally created. The owners have an incentive for the scheme to work and naturally become its biggest advocates: they convince their friends and colleagues to use it, they report any issue they see on the field, they help us identify antisocial behaviours, etc.
  • solves the lack of moat & defensibility problem by creating a network effect: more owners = more bikes = more value to users = more users = more value to owner = more owners.
  • in the long run, it’s where we are all going. New technology allows for improved convenience and new usage, which is what we are seeing now.
    But it also enables disintermediation. It’s already a powerful trend in several sectors (investment banking, tourism, consumer goods, music) and we believe it’s only going to get bigger. No one wants a world where the only choice to go from A to B is to use services from big faceless international companies. Here, the bike you use belongs to your neighbour, and profits stay in the community. Further down the line, with high volume, there comes a securitisation aspect in which micro-mobility becomes a new type of asset-class, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves 😅
Typical adopt-a-pony app

This is why our tagline is ‘take the reins’ !

Good Job Seabiscuit 🐴👌

Pony bikes founder