Indie Bike Sharing Service Spinlister Raises $225K with $220K More on the Way

With $425k, can Spinlister take on Citi Bike?

Mr. Dennis (Spinlister)

Spinlister, the mom-and-pop peer-to-peer bike sharing program that launched in April, has closed a $225,000 round, according to cofounder Will Dennis.

We first spotted the fundraising on Form Ds, but Mr. Dennis said the $225,000 actually closed back in March. “The reason we wanted to fundraise is to make sure we had appropriate insurance and legal stuff in place, because we wanted to make sure everyone who was using our service would be protected,” Mr. Dennis told Betabeat by phone. “We’re also looking to hire an iPhone developer as well as another backend engineer.”

Spinlister allows you to rent out your bike to other members, for a flat-rate all day fee. When it first debuted, many were concerned that Spinlister’s rental model would easily lend itself to bike theft, but Mr. Dennis noted “we haven’t run into it yet, knock on wood.”

“We also have a $5,000 guarantee on each person’s bike during the course of the rental,” he added. “So rest assured that if anything happens to people’s bikes, we’ll take care of it.”

Spinlister has closed $225,000 in funding, but has $200,000 more on the way as long as they meet certain milestones, which Mr. Dennis insists the company already has. “It’s $425k, for all intents and purpose,” he clarified.

Late last year, the City announced a plan to unveil a public bike sharing program called Citi Bike. But prices for that service increase dramatically if you rent a bike for more than a few hours, so Mr. Dennis thinks Spinlister is well-positioned to be a successful competitor to their prices.

“The way [Citi Bike’s] pricing is set up, it’s going to get expensive,” he said. “The average price on our site right now is $20 a day so we really offer a good, high-quality bike and something that you’re going to look good riding.”

Mr. Dennis elaborated on the launch of Citi Bike, insisting that it’s actually a good thing for Spinlister. “It’s actually great news for us, because the way bike share tend to work, it’s really a transporation alternative as opposed to recreation,” he argued. “We think overall it’s going to get more people riding bikes, more biking infrastructure established in the city and just get people more familiar with the idea that biking is a really great way to get around.”

Indie Bike Sharing Service Spinlister Raises $225K with $220K More on the Way