Interview with Jon (Shareholder)
We recently interviewed one of our existing shareholders about why he decided to invest, his thoughts on our company culture, growth potential and why Pedal Me is such a unique company.
You can read the full interview below:
Interviewer: Jon, you came to us from outside our network, and we only learned of you after our last raise went public – How did you come to find out about us? On Crowdcube? Twitter? Had you seen us before?
Jon: I first came across Pedal Me on a rare visit to London in 2017. I was looking for a cycle taxi service and found Pedal Me. My rider was Ben, one of the co-founders, and we had a chat about the service and Ben’s vision for expanding the fleet.
Interviewer: The big, obvious question is ‘why’? What was it you saw that inspired you in the first instance? What was your ‘yes, them’ moment?
Jon: It quickly became clear that this was no ordinary cycle taxi service. I was immediately struck by the strong ethical motivation driving training, employment, risk management and environment. I decided that the company resonated with my ideals. I wanted to support it, see it succeed and prosper. I have been a cycle commuter for most of my working life, and have always been frustrated by the missed potential for human-powered transport in the UK that other countries such as Denmark and The Netherlands have made a reality. For me as a doctor, quality of life is about the human-scale. Clean air, space to live, breathe, work, play and interact with others. Cycle-logistics with an enabling built environment ticks all those boxes. Add on socially-just employment, high standards of training, risk management and organisational learning, and you have Pedal Me. I wanted to be part of it. Obviously it was impractical to become a rider and employee, so I did the next best thing.
Interviewer: Can you tell the story of how you invested?
Jon: I invested through the first public fundraising round in 2018. There was a further mini-fundraising in the Spring of this year, and I made a further investment at that point. I felt it was vital to help the company survive the tough early stages of expansion.
Interviewer: You met up with us on a trip to Amsterdam when we were out there to collect further bikes. Can you tell us about your experience?
Jon: As a shareholder, I had the privilege of spending two days with the Pedal Me team bringing back 15 Urban Arrow bikes from the factory in Amsterdam. It was a great opportunity to experience riding a long-wheelbase UA. Even better was meeting the Pedal Me riders, sharing in some of the training and then taking part in an exciting journey from Amsterdam to the Hoek of Holland, battling rain and tough headwinds. I was doubtful that we would make it to the ferry given the adverse conditions, but need not have feared! The sight of 15 cargo bikes with pink livery-clad riders certainly drew the attention of the locals, including a photo-opportunity with a curious police officer in Leiden town square. I managed to disgrace myself by falling off during the training session, but apart from a bruised ego, I brought back some useful slow-speed maneuvering techniques to my everyday riding.
Interviewer: What did you see of the company, the culture, the training? What was it like to get close up to us? What did you like about what you saw/who we were? If so, why?
Jon: I immediately felt accepted as a (temporary) member of the team. I was impressed by the diversity and enthusiasm of the riders, grueling standard of training, and total commitment of the directors. As an outsider and rookie cargo bike rider, it was an unforgettable two days.
Interviewer: What are your hopes for our future? Do you think you have seen anything that convinces you of a return? Does your investment represent more than just a financial return?
Jon: I expect to see the company continue to expand in London, and become established in other UK and European cities. Of course I would love to see Pedal Me riders around my home city of Glasgow: I view Pedal Me as a model for agile urban logistics, and good employment and training practices. The rate of revenue growth, together with the loyalty of their customers, dedication of the management team, and development of a job-stacking and scheduling IT system leads me to believe that Pedal Me is best placed to produce significant returns to investors.
Interviewer: Do you think Pedal Me can make a significant difference? If so, why?
Jon: In a world of constrained urban space, noise, air pollution, climate breakdown and precarious employment practices, I think that Pedal Me is one of the few investment opportunities that can make a real and scalable difference to our world.
Interviewer: There are other ethical/eco investments out there – what does PM offer over those choices?
Jon: I think we’ve just about covered it. Pedal Me is a very special company.