Locobike strikes back - From bike-sharing, to creative workshop and fresh food e-commerce

TOPICS: Entrepreneurship , Hardware , Bike-sharing

by Ken Ching

Locobike's key founders grew up in Tai Po. Unlike in urban areas, bicycles are part of everyday life for residents in the New Territories. We are accustomed to using bicycles from a young age, whether travelling to work, school, local markets or for leisure. In 2016, we began thinking about the feasibility of bike-sharing in Hong Kong as the trend took off in other places.

Almost a year of planning and developing the required technologies, LocoBike launched in October of 2017. It became Hong Kong's second bike-sharing platform. Contrary to the mainland Chinese market strategy of providing vast coverage areas in cities, we focused our services in districts with comprehensive cycling paths including Tai Po, Ma On Shan and Sha Tin. To provide the best experience, we kept modifying bike designs and our mobile application functions based on users' feedback. As we moved on to our fourth generation of bicycles, we have developed an edge and now become Hong Kong's only bike-sharing company.

To break the stereotype people may have on bike-sharing, we formed patrol teams in various districts to regularly check and repair damaged bicycles. Through our social media channels, we also promote and educate users on the correct way of using the bicycles. By setting up an award system, we have recruited roughly 1,300 users to help monitor illegal parking, vandalism or acts of putting private locks on our bicycles. Together, we also work to tackle cases of bicycles blocking up streets in the neighbourhood.

To diversify our business, we actively expanded the Locofun platform last year. It allows users to search for different types of leisure activities, book online and pay instantly. We earn by charging a service fee for every confirmed booking. Given the lack of a local activity matching platform, organizers may find it hard to get the exposure needed just by advertising on social media. By providing matching services for users and activity organizers, we hope to drive domestic consumption through effective marketing and management.

People's lives have changed dramatically since the epidemic emerged at the beginning of this year. However, that also gave rise to new opportunities. We decided to seize the moment and work with fruit vendors. We turned our online platform into an online fruit market. From the comfort of their homes, people can order high quality fruits from overseas at a reasonable price. This consumer model has opened up a new revenue stream for us whilst allowing users to maintain a high quality of life amid this epidemic.

With the team's hard work, LocoBike now boosts around 170,000 users. Our bike-sharing business alone recorded a seven-digit turnover last year. We have also secured an angel investment of one million US dollars. Loco will continue to introduce more services to the community and support people's needs in food, clothing, housing and transportation. We aim to actively promote domestic consumption and become a one-stop lifestyle platform.

"Let every Hongkonger savour and discover more of life's joys."

About the Author

Master of Science in Information Technology (HKUST); A serial entrepreneur working on PWA, IoT, eCommerce, Catering and Digital Signing technology. 
Prior to his entrepreneurial journey in 2014, Ken was a founding eBay eCG(Asia Pacific) Engineer. Over 10 years exceptional track records with Multinational Company (MNC) IT solutions in eCommerce, transportation, internet security, public sector and catering industries.