Selling or buying bicycles online has never been so easy and safe. Thanks to an idea by professional athletes Fabio Wibmer and Andrea Maranelli and their fellow student Nikolai Holder, Bikeflip has recently debuted, a marketplace for the buying and selling of bicycles of all types and prices.
Source: press release
The platform is aimed at cycling and cycle touring enthusiasts and offers every type of bicycle: ranging from brand new models that reach prices of several thousand euros, to cheaper ones, up to used bicycles costing a few tens or hundreds of euros. The portal is in fact based on the principles of reuse and the circular economy and was also born following a simple consideration: unlike what happens in the automotive market, in Europe there is a lack of thematic online portals, specialized in the buying and selling of bicycles . Therefore, anyone who wants to resell their used bike just needs to create an advert complete with photos and post them on the marketplace.
When it finds a buyer, Bikeflip sends the patented packaging to the seller's home, complete with a tutorial for inserting the bicycle, and takes care of the shipping. Once the bike is received, the buyer has 48 hours to assemble and test the bike. Only after this deadline without any complaints will Bikeflip transfer the money, taking a percentage for the service.
Officially born in Innsbruck, the innovative startup has chosen to grow in Rovereto in Progetto Manifattura, the green-tech incubator of Trentino Sviluppo. The portal, based on the principles of reuse and the circular economy, has already reached 10 thousand bicycles available in a short time and thus aims to open up to other European markets after Austria and Germany, where it is already active. The initiative has already attracted a pre-seed investment round of 1 million euros, which also includes the participation of Trentino Invest for 200 thousand euros.
Andrea Maranelli, 29 years old, already a multi-medallisted professional athlete in the trials field and Italian champion in this discipline in 2014, explains: «I started practicing this discipline as a child, following in the footsteps of my father who instead did trials on motorbikes. Cycling is my passion, but I have always been aware of the importance of studying, so, once I finished high school in Rovereto, my hometown, I moved to Innsbruck to attend economics university." There, the beginning of work on social media as a testimonial for brands linked to the world of cycling, but also the meeting with roommate Fabio Wibmer. A beautiful friendship was born immediately which soon turned into a professional partnership. Both professional athletes, "we were already involved in videos and performances on social media, but, in addition to working for brands, we wanted to create something of our own."
Hence the study, together with the third partner Nikolai Holder, of the Italian and Central European bike community and the idea of creating a simple to use marketplace, where private individuals, athletes, amateurs or resellers could sell and buy bicycles or individual components, inserting some photographs and the information necessary to make the most of your product for sale. «To do this – continues Maranelli – we chose Trentino because, being from here, I had heard of Progetto Manifattura as a startup incubator that would support us in the initial phases». Initial phases that promise well: in the first year of activity, in fact, Bikeflip recorded almost 10 thousand bicycles for sale and several million monthly views.
Currently active in Italy, Austria and Germany, the portal - currently available in Italian, German and English - aims to soon expand on the French-speaking market. To this end, the startup - which employs, alongside the founding members, an administrator, a content creator, a videomaker, a sales employee in Rovereto and a pool of remote Ukrainian developers - has successfully concluded a pre-seed financing campaign from 970 thousand euros, which also sees the participation of Trentino Invest for 200 thousand euros.
The president of Trentino Invest Fulvio Rigotti observes: «The bicycle market is growing by 7% per year. The use of two wheels is also growing strongly in Trentino and is becoming a key element of our tourist offer, from spring to autumn. In this context, we have decided to strongly support the Bikeflip initiative, which has the ambitious objective of creating the reference portal for consultancy and sales in the new and used bicycle market".
Finally, alongside their commitment to implementing the platform, Maranelli and Wibmer keep themselves trained in trials and mountain biking, performing with their bikes in shows, events such as the J-Ax and Fedez concert at San Siro and even a cameo in Zoolander 2 movie.