Around 234,000 bicycles were reported stolen in Germany last year alone. The number of unreported cases is significantly higher. E-bikes in particular attract the attention of thieves. GPS trackers are increasingly gaining in popularity among e-bike riders. “We sense increasing acceptance of GPS systems on the market,” states Thomas Ullmann, COO at IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE. “Our core product is now firmly established, which motivates us to work on innovative services.”
In addition to the end customer product IT’S MY BIKE sold via bike specialists, IoT Venture GmbH also works with more than twenty OEMs, which install the connected bike solution before leaving the factory.
One new cooperation partner is FIT E-Bike System Integration, a brand by Swiss-based Biketec. The company sells software and hardware to interlink e-bike components made by different manufacturers in a single system. Biketec not only markets and sells the IT’S MY BIKE retrofit solution under its own brand name through its partner network but also offers the option of having the IT’S MY BIKE solution quickly and easily integrated ex works. The CAN protocol is also being used for the first time in this solution. “Integrating CAN enables us to work on further expansion stages and supplementary services,” states Leon Menge, Bike Product Owner at IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE.
E-bike data signature as added value for OEMs and end customers
Acquiring expertise in data intelligence is allowing IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE to intensify efforts to make e-bike data evaluable and bring them to life. End customers are already using our auxiliary services for a better ride experience today thanks to what are known as data signatures. We will be able to provide even more in this respect in the future: for example, maintenance can be planned more selectively thanks to predictions, thus extending product life cycles at a later stage. “Using this approach will enable manufacturers and retailers to make attractive offers and suggest appointment dates more accurately, including after sales. Savings will also be made on resources, as is already the case with our core service, anti-theft protection. Our Bike Hunter Team manages to recover three out of four stolen bikes in cooperation with the police,” explains a proud Holger Trautmann, Co-Founder of IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE. “That wouldn’t be possible without data signatures for precise localisation.”
Adapted service world
In addition to tracking and anti-theft protection, the IT’S MY BIKE service world provides numerous other options which make e-bikes smart. These include route recording, affordable insurance packages and a digital emergency assistant. The focus on predicted services means other originally planned services such as a private bike sharing platform or the link to a second-hand bike marketplace have diminished in importance. “Through close contact with both our business and end customers, we have come to realise that needs are concentrated in other areas. The idea of people offering their e-bike for hire has not caught on yet,” affirms Jürgen Veith, CEO at IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE.
Preparations under way for expansion
IT’S MY BIKE trackers started transmitting using the LTE-M radio standard in addition to Narrowband IoT last year. This ensures extensive use across the whole of Europe and North America. Participation in German Accelerator’s U.S. Market Access Program has provided critical knowledge. “The program has helped us to look at our products and services from the perspective of the US market and adapt accordingly,” explains Mario Schmitz, Head of Business Development at IoT Venture GmbH/IT’S MY BIKE. “We’re currently making all possible preparations to gain a foothold in the US market with our first US branch office before the end of the year.”