Pointz — GPS Mapping For Bike And Scooter Riders

Pointz maps safe, low-stress, and low-traffic routes for the micromobility community

Bram Berkowitz
Feb 16 · 3 min read

The Problem

It is extremely challenging for bike and scooter riders to find low-stress, low-traffic routes. The micromobility community’s biggest concern is feeling safe while riding. In the U.S., an estimated 110 million people use micromobility vehicles each year. In various areas, ridership has increased by 80% to 120% since COVID-19 began, with one electric bike company reporting a 297% increase in demand in 2020. Unfortunately, there are over 500,000 emergency room visits every year related to bike and scooter accidents, according to the CDC. This is a major concern, as over half of Americans would bike more if it were safer.

What The Company Does

Pointz is a mobile mapping application that navigates bike and scooter riders through safe low-stress, low-traffic routes in cities. Their proprietary routing algorithm favors roads on a unique ‘quiet network’ of residential side streets, protected bike lanes, and other ‘bike-friendly’ streets. This network is created and vetted by experienced local riders. In addition, Pointz’s solution incorporates crowdsourcing for riders of all levels so that they can continue to improve and update their maps.

The Market

The market for micromobility technology solutions is an estimated $8 billion, and according to McKinsey, the micromobility industry as a whole is expected to reach $200 billion to $300 billion by 2030, growing at a 20% CAGR. Pointz’s competitors include Google Maps, Garmin’s Ride With GPS, Apple Maps, and Strava. There are five main reasons these existing services fail: The shortest route is prioritized over the safest route; the service is not built specifically for micromobility; the technology does not utilize recommendations from experienced riders; the technology lacks crowdsourcing to improve their maps; and the service lacks collaboration with local governments.

Business Model

Pointz will follow a freemium subscription model, offering a free version of the app while monetizing premium features with a subscription. Premium features include the ability to save and share routes, access to unlimited rides every month, and access to fitness metrics based on rides. The company is also testing three additional revenue streams: Selling their routing algorithm to micromobility delivery services/operators; selling anonymous aggregate data to city planners; and in-app advertisements in the free version of the app.

Traction

Pointz has completed their first minimum viable product (MVP) iteration and is currently testing with 10 Providence riders. They are on track to expand testing to 200 users this March. The company has also tested seven iterations of feature sets and won $5,500 in pitch competitions and grants including winning the 2020 RI Calamari Tank Pitch Competition, placing runner up at RI Elevator Pitch Competition of 33 ventures, and participating in Brown’s Breakthrough Lab Accelerator. Furthermore, the company has completed hundreds of interviews with potential customers, micromobility operators like Bird and Spin, municipalities all over the U.S., mobility data companies, and the leading manufacturer of scooters for operators.

Founding Team Background

Pointz was co-founded by Trisha Ballakur and Maggie Bachenberg, who are both juniors at Brown University. They have worked together previously on the Women’s Empowerment Team of the Brown Entrepreneurship Program. Maggie is an environmental studies major and an experienced cyclist. She has gone on multiple long distance trips totaling over 5,000 miles including a cross country ride from Virginia to California. She also bikes a lot in cities and has had first-hand experience with the pain point Pointz is addressing. Trisha majors in computer science and is a beginner electric scooter rider. She has extensive experience as a full-stack software engineer with a specialty in database management, computer systems, and AI/machine learning.

What They Need Help With

Pointz will be raising a pre-seed round after their Providence beta test finishes at the end of March . They need the funding to expand to their next target cities of Boston, NYC, and Denver, and develop premium features. Connect with the Pointz team.

Storied

The storytelling platform for startups building in New England.

Bram Berkowitz

Written by

Writing about banks, stocks, and startups. Frequently published in The Motley Fool and Rhode Island Inno. Co-founder of The Buzz.

Storied

Storied

The storytelling platform fueling the next generation of founders in New England.

Bram Berkowitz

Written by

Writing about banks, stocks, and startups. Frequently published in The Motley Fool and Rhode Island Inno. Co-founder of The Buzz.

Storied

Storied

The storytelling platform fueling the next generation of founders in New England.

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