Guestbike Launches World’s First E-bike Rental Service for Ski Resorts
Guestbike launched the world’s first e-bike service catering to the ski and snowboard community in 2020. With input from Trevor Yost, Guestbike COO, this case study outlines the story of the company and how the Lattis team and their software platform was able to help the Guestbike team turn a bold and bright idea into an innovative and growing micromobility business.
- Website: www.guestbike.com
- Location: Åre, Sweden
- Executive Team: Eric Ljuden (CEO), Nic Gravenfors (CTO), Trevor Yost (COO)
- Launched: Spring 2020
- Fleet Type: Public E-bikeshare
About The Company
Guestbike was founded by a team of avid skiers. As the the friends and founders traveled extensively to visit the best ski hills in Europe, they noticed there was a lack of last mile transport options for visitors. These smaller ski towns usually have minimal parking stock and public transit options compared to larger cities but yet are extremely busy during ski season. Eric & Nic saw the need for a new transportation solution within these ski towns that tourists and locals could use to get around while accommodating their ski equipment. These ski towns are packed with natural beauty, so they were convinced any new transportation solution would have to be eco-friendly. As the fat tire e-bike started gaining popularity, the team identified it the perfect vehicle for Guestbike’s shared micromobility business.
The Customer Challenges
As the team strategized how to execute their vision, they decided to partner with a micromobility software platform to provide the technology necessary for a modern e-bikeshare service. Although the Guestbike team was experienced in the bike industry and had great sales experience, they wanted to execute quickly and draw on the micromobility industry experience of a platform provider rather than building their rental software platform in-house.
Equipping their electric bikes not only with innovative bikeshare technology, but also adding ski/snowboard racks for riders to transport their equipment. When the team ultimately decided on the BUTE e-bike for their fleet, they also had to find a smart lock & GPS solution that would integrate with their fat tire e-bike. The most common smart-lock for bikeshare is the ring lock, which mounts to the rear frame of the bike and locks the back wheel in place. Unfortunately, all smart ring locks on the market cannot accommodate the extra wide tire width that you find on the BUTE fat tire bike. Evan after extensive research, it was difficult to find a smart-locking solution that would accommodate the unique design of Guestbike’s electric bike.
As Trevor and the team evaluated potential technology partners, they prioritized 3 key qualities to find in a platform provider:
#1: An experienced team that could provide Guestbike with trusted advice and strong ongoing support.
#2: Software suite that had robust fleet management capability and intuitive end user experience.
#3: A flexible system with the ability to integrate a unique hardware solution to fit their fat tire e-bike.
Guestbike evaluated several micromobility platform providers, eventually deciding to partner with Lattis. Trevor mentioned that the Lattis’ micromobility software platform offered the whole package, with all the key fleet management tools that he needed to launch and manage Guestbike’s operations. The Lattis custom whitelabel app design allowed Trevor and the team to collaborate with the Lattis mobile product team to design and implement a rider-facing mobile app that was customized for the Guestbike brand.
Still searching for an adequate smart-lock to work with the fat tire e-bike, the Lattis team introduced Guestbike to the Ellipse Gen2 Bikemount bluetooth lock. Different to a standard ring-lock, the Ellipse Gen2 Bikemount is a strong and secure cable lock that mounts to the bikes frame and enables it to lock-to a rack.
Lattis’ flexibility & agility was a key factor in our platform partner decision. Lattis was able to integrate with a local GPS & telematics OEM, Swetrack, so we can adequately track our fleet vehicles.– Trevor Yost (Guestbike COO)
Guestbike launched their pilot in Åre, Sweden with a small fleet of 8 vehicles, allowing them to learn the ropes of fleet management and end-user support for bikeshare. Since Guestbike e-bikeshare service is unique and in cities where there aren’t many other shared micromobility services, Trevor quickly learnt how essential is was to understand their customer’s behavior patterns. When providing a new mobility service, the challenge is finding the balance between aligning with users existing behavior and encouraging customers to adopt new behaviors for a new method of transport. Lattis worked closely with the Guestbike team to support them pre and post launch. The teams leveraged their shared support Slack channel to communicate issues and coordinate solutions quickly.
Guestbike worked closely with the local community to ensure that their services could operate in harmony with the municipality and local business. They partnered with hotels & resorts to create fleet parking zones. Local businesses got advertising space on the Guestbike E-bikes. The Åre tourism board accepted Guestbike with open arms, featuring them in the Åre tourism website as a top attraction. The city government supports Guestbike and has plans to help with expansion in new parts of town. For marketing, Guestbike engaged local pro ski & snowboard influencers to provide them transportation during their trips to the slopes. The early success of Guestbike can be partly attributed to their focus on working with the local community from day one.
What comes next for Guestbike? Even during their first season in Åre, the team was eyeing expansion opportunities. The team is aiming to operate a fleet of 1000 bikes in various locations across Western Europe. As they have attracted external funding they intend to launch in 10 more cities in the next 2 years, including Davos, Chamonix, & Zermatt in the Swiss Alps.
To bolster their fleet management capability, they plan to equip their e-bikes with IoT to allow for greater control & diagnostics of the fleet vehicles. With the help of Lattis’ latest field operations application and analytics tools, the Guestbike fleet will be ready to tackle virtually any season on any mountain in 2021 and beyond.
Lattis is a leading software platform enabling anyone to design & launch a shared micromobility fleet. If you are interested in learning more Lattis and how we can help you launch or optimize your micromobility service, please feel free to contact us!