Autor Tema: Sharing startup Twisted Road wants to be the Airbnb for motorcycles  (Leído 191 veces)

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Sharing startup Twisted Road wants to be the Airbnb for motorcycles
« en: 07 de Abril de 2018, 16:12:51 pm »
Austin Rothbard was frustrated.
For the third time in a row, he'd found himself on vacation, in a scenic place that was perfect for motorcycling, without a motorcycle and without any way to rent one.
On a whim, he checked the local Craigslist to see if there were any used motorcycles for sale. There were, but cost close to $1,000.
That led to an epiphany: The country is full of motorcycles that aren't being ridden, and might be full of riders like him who wanted to rent hem.
The result is Twisted Road, Rothbard's peer-to-peer bike rental service, which the entrepreneur is calling "the Airbnb of motorcycles."
Some riding enthusiasts are applauding. But insurance experts are raising questions, as they have about Airbnb and other sharing startups, about liability.
Launched late last year in Texas, the service is now nationwide, with a network of around 400 motorcycles and more than 5,000 registered users in 40 U.S. states, including Alaska and Hawaii. A large number of users live in California, where warm, dry weather allows for year-round motorcycling.
Using the Twisted Road online platform, interested riders peruse ads featuring photos, specifications and details on the motorcycles and their owners. Bikes typically rent for $75 to $150 a day, and may include other services, such as pickup and dropoff, or the loan of a jacket and helmet.
"We're connecting the owner with six bikes in the garage with the rider who's traveling and really wants to ride," Rothbard said. "We're offering people an experience they can't have any other way."
Owners are protected by a clause that requires all renters to be bike owners, and active riders, who carry their own motorcycle insurance.
For hosting the exchange, Twisted Road takes 30% of the transaction cost. For an extra fee, the company will offer renters roadside assistance insurance and other services.
Rothbard, 46, has a business background, and has done executive stints with Brunswick Billiards, Baker Furniture and Pyrex parent company World Kitchen. He came to motorcycling only three years ago, but took to it at once.
Among his first tasks in building the Twisted Road idea into a company was polling. Rothbard asked hundreds of bike riders and owners how they felt about renting used motorcycles, and how they felt about letting someone rent theirs.
"About 85% said they would not put their bikes up for rent, and 70% said they wouldn't rent someone else's bike," Rothbard said. "But that meant15% of bike owners would be willing to rent out their bikes, and 30% of bike riders would consider renting."
Those are actually high numbers, Rothbard said, citing studies that have shown Airbnb penetration in America at about 1% of the U.S. housing market.
"Even if my numbers are 15 times overstated, I'd still be at Airbnb level," Rothbard said. "And that would be a success."

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