High-end bike concierge platform for guided rides and bike rentals
Minimum Investment: $100
Hosted corporate events for brands such as HSBC, IWC Schaffhausen, Lululemon, and Assos
Bike rentals increased by 32.64% in 2019 over the same period in 2018 (April to December)
Roula generated $131,165 in revenue in 2019, up by 232.84% from $39,408 in 2018
Previously raised $530,000 in funding from angel investors
Roula is a high-end bike concierge business offering guided rides, bike rentals, and merchandise to cyclists at its HQ in Manhattan, New York City. For travelling cyclists, it facilitates bike rentals from a network of cycling companies through its partner network with locations in places such as Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Barcelona, Lanzarote, and Tokyo. From its HQ in Manhattan along the Hudson River, cyclists can enjoy a member’s lounge, terrace overlooking the river, and café. Roula also shares a kitchen service with the property owner, Classic Car Club, from which customers can enjoy a full menu offering every day of the week. Roula’s location makes it an ideal spot to host corporate events and meetups.
Notable achievements by the company include:
Security Type: Crowd Note
Round Size: Min: $25,000 Max: $107,000
Discount Rate: 20%
Valuation Cap: $3.2 million
Conversion Provisions: In connection with equity financing of at least $1,000,000, the Company has the option to convert the Crowd Note into non-voting preferred stock (Conversion Shares) at a price based on the lower of (A) a 20% discount to the price per share for Preferred Stock by investors in the Qualified Equity Financing or (B) the price per share paid on a $3,200,000 valuation cap. Please refer to the Crowd Note for a complete description of the terms of the Crowd Note, including the conversion provisions.
*You are investing in Crowd Notes in this offering. Perks are meant to be a thank you from the company for investing. The perks below, subject to Regulation CF investment limits, are not inclusive of lower dollar amount perks, except where otherwise noted.
Perks will be honored at Roula’s HQ in New York City.
* When you make a reservation, you’ll have the opportunity to decide the time and place where your bike is to be delivered and picked up. Our onboard fit specialist will make sure your bike is dialed in to your specifications.
** Example of Domestique - at the $10k level, the investor and another participant would each get to use a Pinarello F12 for 2 days, with each day including a ride about 4-hours long that comes with a guide.
Traveling with bicycles can be a frustrating process. Many airlines consider sports items such as golf clubs and skis to be regular checked items, but place surcharges on bikes that can add up to hundreds of dollars each way. One of the reasons is size – bikes can be bulkier than most objects, making storage less efficient. It’s also a solid revenue generating opportunity – some 14 million Americans bike regularly.i According to the Atlanta Constitution-Journal, U.S. airlines collected $4.9 billion in baggage revenue in 2018, up from $4.6 billion in 2017.ii Bicycling, an online website, found that traveling with a bike could cost as little as $30 or as much as $300, each way.iii Another issue cyclists can run into is damage to their bike. Through careless handling, airlines can damage bikes, sometimes refusing to accept liability for the damage.iv One method cyclists can use to avoid these problems is renting a bike when traveling. Bike shops that offer rentals can be more cost effective than paying baggage fees to travel with a bike.v
Founded in 2016, Roula is a high-end bike concierge business created to make life easier for traveling cyclists. Founder Mark Voysey thought of the idea several years ago after a bad experience traveling with his bike, in which the airline broke a carbon wheel, and he lacked the mechanical skills needed to fix it. He then discovered his bike case wouldn’t fit in his rental car. Frustrated with the process, Mark decided to create an alternative solution.
Cyclists have the option of renting a high-end road bike for a day, a week, or longer either directly from Roula’s HQ, online, or from one of the many partners within Roula’s network. Roula aims to provide a seamless experience for cyclists by also offering concierge delivery and pick up options, straight to a customer’s hotel or place of residence within New York City. Additionally, Roula offers guided rides, corporate events, and its facility contains a member’s lounge, terrace overlooking the river, and café - where cyclists can network and relax.
Roula’s headquarters (HQ) is located in the Hudson Yards neighborhood of Manhattan, one of the fast-growing areas of New York City.vi A mixed-use real estate venture is currently in development in the neighborhood, which is one of the largest mixed-use private real estate ventures in American history. The development will sport a 720,000 square foot shopping mall, four skyscrapers, and $500 million city-sponsored arts center called the Shed. Large companies such as SAP, KKR, BlackRock, Wells Fargo, and L’Oréal USA, among others, are moving into office space in the new development.vii
Roula offers guided rides, bike rentals, storage, recovery services, bike wash, memberships, and merchandise to cyclists at its HQ in Manhattan, New York City. It aims to service customers whether they’re living in New York or visiting. For travelling cyclists, it facilitates bike rentals from a network of cycling companies through its partner network with locations in places such as Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Barcelona, Lanzarote, and Tokyo.
Roula’s HQ is located in Manhattan along the Hudson River in a trendy neighborhood on the West Side Highway Greenway, opposite of Hudson Yards and on the Hudson bike path. Its facility offers a member’s lounge, terrace overlooking the river, and café. At the café, customers can purchase coffee, smoothies, and healthy snacks. Additionally, Roula shares a kitchen service with the property owner, Classic Car Club, from which customers can enjoy a full menu. Roula’s location makes it an ideal spot to host corporate events and meetups.
At Roula’s HQ in Manhattan and online, customers can rent bikes for a day, a week, or a longer period of time. In addition to being able to pick up the rental bikes at Roula’s store, customers can also choose to get the bikes delivered to them via a concierge service to their hotel or place of residence (within New York City). Roula focuses on providing high-end road bikes as well as an iconic Brompton model. The bikes currently available for rent include:
Roula also facilitates rentals through its partner network with locations in cities such as Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Barcelona, Lanzarote, and Tokyo.
Roula offers partnerships for custom package cycle tour vacations in Tokyo, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Mallorca.
Domestiques, or guided rides, are public and private tours led by Roula’s experienced cycling staff. Roula has weekly domestiques around New York City open to both individuals and groups. An example week of rides for Roula is as follows:
In addition to offering rides on a weekly basis to individuals and groups, Roula also offers privately guided rides upon request. Popular private rides include:
All guided rides include a Pinarello or Serotta Design Studio Duetti bike, helmet, a Roula water bottle, carbon road pedals, and healthy snacks.
Roula offers a monthly membership which provides patrons with deals, discounts, and access to exclusive events. Some of the perks included in the membership include:
Roula’s HQ in Manhattan can be rented out for corporate and charity events. Its facility can hold up to 150 guests. Events include guided bike rides (for varying skill levels) and all necessary equipment for the rides. Following the guided rides, guests can network and socialize on Roula’s terrace overlooking the Hudson River and in the member’s lounge. Add-on services event sponsors can purchase include a breakfast buffet, coffee and snacks during the ride, a lunch buffet, recovery services such as Normatec, Theragun, mobile cryotherapy, and space to put up product showcases and stands. Roula will facilitate any required catering services.
An example of a corporate event Roula has hosted in the past is as follows:
8:00am: Arrive at Roula, breakfast buffet (pastries, bagels, acai parfait and fresh fruit, coffee, juice, and soft drinks), and prepare for the rides
9:00am: Slow pace group depart
9:20am: Medium pace group depart
9:40am: Fast pace group depart
11:00am: Stop at The Market Café for coffee and snacks
1:30pm – 2:30pm: Return to Roula HQ
2:30pm: Lunch buffet (sandwiches, wraps, salads, grains, fresh fruit, coffee, tea, juice, and soft drinks)
3:00pm: Event sponsor comments and remarks
3:30pm: Drinks and socialize in member’s bar and on terrace
6:00pm: Event ends
In Roula’s HQ and online, customers can purchase of variety of Roula-branded merchandise. Items available for purchase include:
Roula also offers ancillary services for cyclists such as bike storage, bike washes, pedal upgrades, bike maintenance, bike fitting, and concierge deliveries on rental bikes. Its concierge deliveries are specifically targeted at traveling cyclists who are looking for convenience. Customers can choose to have either their rental road bike dropped off and picked up from their hotel, or have one of Roula’s Brompton (fold-up) bikes dropped off at their hotel upon on arrival so that they can enjoy their bicycle throughout their stay and make their own way to Roula HQ.
Roula is looking to raise a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $107,000 from this crowdfunding raise. This raise is part of a larger effort by Roula to raise $500,000 this year. Funds will be used to support continued growth and deployed for staff wages, rent, marketing, and technology development. If the minimum amount is raised, Roula plans to allocate $10,000 toward staff costs (40%), $7,000 toward rent (28%), $5,000 toward marketing (20%), and $3,000 toward technology development (12%).
If the maximum amount is raised, Roula plans to allocate $40,000 (37.38%) toward staff costs, $30,000 (28.04%) toward rent, $25,000 (23.36%) toward marketing, and $12,000 (11.21%) toward technology development. Roula has the discretion to change the use of proceeds due to a change in business conditions or the economic environment.
With a portion of the funds from this raise, Roula plans to re-introduce salaries and wages for existing employees to maintain its current employee base, and hire part-time employees to work in either the mechanic shop to repair bicycles, or in the store front to sell merchandise.
With a portion of the funds from this raise, Roula plans to increase its marketing efforts in 2020 to expand its reach and bring in new customers. Several avenues of marketing the company plans on utilizing include:
Through building new partnerships, Roula intends to expand upon its existing network of hotels who will offer Roula’s services to guests.
With a portion of the funds from this raise, Roula plans to improve and further develop its website to make it more user-friendly, and to continue work on building an app. The Roula app would enable customers to rent bikes and book domestiques directly.
Over the coming year, Roula plans to roll out an episodic insurance product, expand its partner network, and further develop its website. Additionally, it plans to increase its focus on hosting corporate and special events. Beyond 2020, the company is planning to release a mobile app and expand its physical presence to new locations.
In 2020, Roula would like to offer episodic insurance to customers renting bikes and cyclists on guided tours. Episodic insurance would cover damages to bikes. Pricing is still being determined for this feature.
Expand Partner Network
In 2020, Roula would also like to expand its partner network to more cities around the world. New cities where Roula would like to add partners include: Nice, Melbourne, Milan, San Diego, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, and Atlanta.
Roula is currently developing a mobile app that it plans to release sometime around 2021. The app would allow users to sign up for Roula, book rentals or guided rides, and manage their bookings. Roula plans to release the app for both iOS and Android.
Within the next few years, Roula would like to set up more physical locations in biking hubs across the U.S. and around the globe. Locations Roula is currently considering for expansion include: Los Angeles or San Francisco, Miami, and London.
Roula generates revenue from bike rentals, domestiques (i.e. guided rides), concierge delivery services, and ancillary services.
Pricing for Roula services is as follows:
Pricing for popular private guided rides is as follows:
Guided rides include a Pinarello or Serotta bike, helmet, water bottle, snack, and carbon road pedals.
Bike rentals from New York HQ
At Roula’s headquarters, the company offers six different bicycle models for rent, the Pinarello F12, the Pinarello Grevil, the Pinarello Dyodo, the Pinarello Dogma F10, the Brompton Raw Laquer M3L, and the Duetti S1 Sram Red eTap.
Customers can also rent bicycles from Roula’s partners across the U.S. Roula receives a 20% commission on rentals through its partner network.
Pricing for special events ranges from $2,000 per day to $50,000 per day depending on the scope of the event. Events can include a light breakfast, lunch, a domestique, snacks, coffee, and access to Roula’s terrace, where guests can socialize and network. Bikes are included in special events as required.
Between May 2018 and December 2019, Roula rented its bikes out 359 times. In 2019, the company rented out 215 bikes. Between May and December 2019, the company rented out 191 bikes, up from 144 bikes over the same period 2018, representing a 32.64% increase. Its rental business has been seasonal, with bike rentals experiencing a decline during the winter months and steady rental rates in across the spring, summer, and fall months.
In 2019, Roula hosted seven events, up from five events in 2018. Notable events hosted by Roula in 2019 included:
One notable event held by Roula in 2018 was the Lululemon and Strava “Ghost Run.” Participants enjoyed a coached run on the west side bike path, recovery from Normatec and Theragun, and Bespoke Physical Therapy, food from Spring Bone, and a Marathon Q&A from Lindsay Meyers, all while enjoying the Hudson River view from Roula’s HQ. The Ghost Run was monitored on Strava, a popular social network for runners and cyclists.
In 2019, Roula generated $131,165 in revenue for the year, up by 232.84% year-over-year. Revenue in 2019 was primarily generated as a result of bike rental income (47.26%) and hosting special events (42.74%). All three main categories of revenue (bike rentals, special events, and merchandise) grew by at least 139% between 2018 and 2019. Revenue spiked in Q2 and Q3 2019 due to several special events that took place over the two quarters. 2018 was Roula’s first year of generating revenue. In 2018, the company generated $39,408 in revenue for the year. Revenue in 2018 was driven primarily by bike rentals (57.36%), special events (28.71%), and merchandise (13.92%).
In 2019, Roula incurred $146,123 in total expenses for the year, a decrease of 70.90% year-over-year. Expenses decreased in 2019 when compared to 2018, in part, due to a large reduction in salaries and wage expenses and a large reduction in rent expense. Between 2018 and 2019, salary and wage related expenses decreased from $189,613 to $28,588, representing an 84.92% decrease. The company reduced its salary and wage related expenses in 2019 to keep the company cash flow positive until they could raise more capital. Between 2018 and 2019, rent expense decreased from $60,400 to $9,700, representing an 83.94% decrease. The company was able to talk with their landlord to receive a discount in 2019 and then plans to begin paying approximately $3,000 per month once they’ve received additional funding. In 2018, Roula incurred $502,190 in total expenses for the year, an increase of 709.98% when compared to 2017. The large increase was, in part, due to the company only truly beginning business operations in Q3 2017, and due to the company ramping up business functions in 2018 as it looked to grow and expand. In 2017, the company incurred $62,000 in total expenses for the year.
The largest expense line items in 2019 were salary and wages (19.56%), office expenses (11.32%), cost of goods sold (11.80%), insurance expense (8.50%), and rent expense (6.64%). In 2018, the largest expense line items were salaries and wages (37.76%), rent (12.03%), design expenses (9.01%), insurance expenses (7.33%), and cost of goods sold (2.77%).
In 2019, Roula generated a net loss of $14,958, compared to a net loss of $462,782 in 2018. However, Roula was able to generate a net operating profit in 2019 due to a substantial increase in revenue, and a large reduction in wage expenses. Moving forward, the company is expecting to re-introduce some expenses (e.g. wages) which could affect its cash flow. However, it hopes to dampen the effects of the increase in expenses through continued revenue growth. In 2017, the company incurred a net loss of $62,000.
As of January 31, 2020, Roula had $3,870 in cash-on-hand. With the current cash-on-hand, the proceeds from this raise, and an increase in planned operating expenses, the company anticipates having approximately 12 months of runway if the maximum amount ($107,000) is raised, and five to six months of runway if the minimum amount ($25,000) is raised.
Micro-mobility is a growing trend in urban areas, with consumers enjoying the freedom and quickness of these solutions. McKinsey and Company estimated that by 2030, the micro-mobility market would be worth $200 to $300 billion in the U.S., $100 to $150 billion in Europe, and $30 to $50 billion in China. The report estimates that for this market growth to occur, cities and businesses need to work in concert to create viable solutions. Examples of these solutions could be making the interchange between micro-mobility and public transport smoother or banning cars from congested and polluted areas.viii
Within the micro-mobility market is bike rentals. As of 2017, the global bike rental market was valued at $1.37 billion. Between 2017 and 2025, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.3%, reaching approximately $4.28 billion in 2025. One factor driving the growth in bicycle rentals is the increasing importance of greener transportation systems as a result of eco-friendly policies being implemented across cities and countries. Within the bike rental market, docked bike rental services have dominated the market so far, with 77% of the total market share. Docked bike rental services are less exposed to vandalism and theft compared to dockless services.ix
In 2019, USA Cycling, the national governing body for bicycle racing in the U.S., recorded soaring participation numbers at its national event. It hosted more than 1,600 riders, up by 32% year-over-year. Growing interest in the national event points to a bright future for the sport of cycling in America. The growth in riders at the U.S. Nationals was driven almost entirely by junior participation, with both the junior boys and junior girls’ categories experiencing an uptick in participation.x According to the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA), participation in cycling by kids in middle school and high school has experienced an average annual growth of 48% between 2009 and 2018.xi
In addition to becoming more popular with youth, cycling is also seeing an increase in popularity among professionals. According to the New York Times, cycling is the sport of choice for workers in the San Francisco Bay Area within the region’s tech community. Venture capitalists, recruiters, and professional networkers have introduced cycling events as a way to build camaraderie, socialize, and strike deals.xii According to the Wall Street Journal, cycling has also become more popular among business professionals in English cities such as London, Exeter, and Bristol. Professionals there view cycling as a good way to meet potential clients.xiii Some of the reasons cycling has become more popular in the business professional demographic is because is more accessible than other sports like golf, open to all skill-levels, and riders can choose whichever distance (or time) they are comfortable with.xiv
Beyond the U.S., cycling has also experienced strong growth and increasing government focus in Europe. In May 2019, over 100 business and policy leaders from across Europe attended a cycling industry conference to discuss the growth of the cycling industry and strategies ensure further growth. The European Commission considers cycling as key to sustainable mobility solutions and has allocated a budget of around €2 billion to the industry.xv According to the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), the value of the bicycle market in Europe was estimated at €13.2 billion in 2016, and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 5.5% through 2022.xvi
Roula’s HQ is located in the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan, a neighborhood recently cited as growing five times faster than the rest of Manhattan. Businesses are starting to recognize Hudson Yards as of one of the most appealing places to be in New York City due to the variety of experiences on offer there and a younger demographic.xvii A mixed-use real estate venture is currently in development in the area, which is one of the largest mixed-use private real estate ventures in American history. Hudson Yards will sport a 720,000 square foot shopping mall, four skyscrapers, and $500 million city-sponsored arts center called the Shed. Large companies such as SAP, KKR, BlackRock, Wells Fargo, and L’Oréal USA, among others, are moving into office space in the new development.xviii
According to Pitchbook, the micro-mobility industry received $13.03 billion in capital investment in 2019, down by 46.37% year-over-year from $24.31 billion. Over the same period, the total deal count in the micro-mobility industry fell from 114 to 98. 2018 was a record year for both capital invested and deal count in the micro-mobility industry. Between 2009 and 2019, capital invested in the industry grew at a CAGR of 19.84%. Other notable industry statistics include:
Roula competes directly with other bike rental facilities in the greater New York City area. As it looks to expand, it will compete with other local bike rental facilities in its new areas of expansion.
Founded in 1978, Bicycle Habitat sells bicycles of varying categories, performs bike services, hosts classes, and offers rental services. At the Bicycle Habitat store, consumers can purchase road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, kid bikes, folding bikes, and accessories. Some of the higher-end road bike brands sold by the company include S-Works, Venge, Emonda, Roubaix, and Domane. Additionally, the company offers bicycle services such as bike repair and home delivery. Every Wednesday and Thursday the company hosts two-hour roadside bike repair courses. Consumers looking to rent bikes rather than purchase can rent from several of the Bicycle Habitat stores. Hybrid bike rentals, for casual riding, start at $35 per day. Road bike rentals for more recreational riding start at $100 per day. Carbon road bike rentals for long distances and road races start at $200 per day.xix
Founded in 2009, Echelon Cycles is a bike shop in New York City selling a variety of bikes, parts, accessories, and clothing. Additionally, the company offers bike rental and repair services. Categories of bikes available for purchase include road, mountain, electric, cyclocross, commuter, comfort, cruiser, fitness, children’s, and BMX. Some of the higher-end road bike brands available for purchase include Pinarello, Bianchi, Cannondale, and Scott. Customers can rent road bikes for between $85 per day, for a Jamis Ventura Sport, to $139 per day, for a Fuji Transonic.xx Additionally, Echelon offers packing and shipping solutions for cyclists looking to send their bike to another location.
Founded in 2004, Rapha sells cycling clothing, organizes and sponsors rides and events, and created the Rapha Cycling Club in 2015, which aims to bring cyclists together around the world through 23 clubhouses. Its clubhouses are located across Europe, North America, and Asia. The clubhouses are used as hubs for more than 12,000 members and local cyclists to plan rides, drink coffee, and try new Rapha clothing products.xxi Rapha Cycling Club offers benefits to its members that include priority access to new products, the ability to rent bikes at clubhouse locations, member-only products, a cycling social network through a mobile app, curated rides, and sponsored events. A membership to Rapha costs $100 per year.xxii Rapha was sold in 2017 to RZC Investments for £200 million.xxiii
Founded in 2011, Spinlister is a marketplace enabling users to rent bikes, surfboards, and snow equipment across the world. Spinlister works by connecting bike owners with people looking to rent or borrow. Through its platform, owners list their bikes with a daily price, and users search for a bike in the area where they will be. The full rental process is completed through the Spinlister website, mobile app, or in-store kiosks. The company also offers various protection options and delivery services. Cities where bike rentals are available include Amsterdam, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City, Portland, and London.xxiv Spinlister also offers Spinlister Pro, a customer-facing kiosk bike rental companies can use to facilitate bike rental transactions. In 2018, Spinlister closed down operations before changing ownership and re-launching again later that year.xxv
Mark launched Roula in 2017 with the mission of making life easier for the traveling cyclist. He previously worked in executive roles in international sport marketing, both marketing communications and experiential, for companies such as Cunning Communications, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), and Sports International Inc. Mark’s main focus is revolutionizing the traveling cyclist’s experience, finding the ultimate ride espresso, and looking forward to the day that Arsenal wins the Champions League. His favorite ride is Col de Rates, Spain. Mark holds an undergraduate degree in business and finance from Bristol, University of the South West.
Aldo joined Roula in 2017 and has served as COO since. In addition to his current role at Roula, he also works as a general manager at R&A Cycles, a supplier of high-end road, mountain, and cyclocross bikes. At R&A Cycles, Aldo is responsible for store and online financial performance through community outreach and building, hiring, sales staff development, product reviews, and customer service. Other prior work experience includes personal training and life coaching at Equinox. Aldo has been an avid cyclist for years. He has competed in triathlons, road, and mountain events, and is always on the lookout for new cycling adventures.
Roula has previously raised $530,000 in the form of convertible notes. The convertible notes have a provision enabling the conversion to take place at the lower of: (A) a 20% discount to a priced round of financing, or (B) at a price per share of $395.88 assuming 8,000 units of Common A units are outstanding immediately prior to a qualified equity financing of at least $1,000,000, implying a fully-diluted ownership of bridge round investors of 20% following conversion. Funding came from angel investors, family offices, and entities. Previous funds were used to launch and scale business operations.
The information provided herein is not intended to be, nor should it be construed or used as, investment, tax or legal advice, a recommendation to purchase, or an offer to sell securities of the company. You should rely on the offering statement and documents attached as exhibits to the offering statement when making any investment decision. An investment in the company is not suitable for all investors.
An investment in the company is speculative, and as such is not suitable for anyone without a high tolerance for risk and a low need for liquidity. You should invest only if you are able to bear the risk of losing your entire investment. There can be no assurance that that investors will receive any return of capital or profit. Investors should have the financial ability and willingness to accept the risks (including, among other things, the risk of loss of their entire investment and the risks of lack of liquidity) that are characteristic of private placement investments. There will be no public market for the securities being offered, applicable securities laws will restrict any transfer of the securities, and the securities will not be transferable without the company’s consent.
The company’s industry is highly competitive, and the company may not be able to compete effectively against the other businesses in its industry. The company is subject to a number of significant risks that could result in a reduction in its value and the value of the company securities, potentially including, but not limited to: