Paris-based Sharelock has raised €4 million in seed funding. The startup is seeking to push soft mobility to the next level via addressing a key stumbling block - parking. In anticipation of a wider deployment with the Ile-de-France region, the funding will be used to accelerate the production of the firms’ padlocks as well as bring onboard new team members.
When discussing the reasoning behind the company’s thinking, co-founder Nicolas Louvet explains, “Parking is at the heart of the bicycle system because bicycles remain stationary more than 95% of the time. According to our studies, solving the issue of secure parking on a large scale will guarantee at least a doubling of the modal share of cycling. This is a real opportunity for massive impact in our cities.”
Much like reserving a bicycle, scooter, or car itself, Sharelock operates under the same premise; use an app, access the product, use the product. The lock will detect and notify users of any vandalism or attempted theft, and in case of a proven theft, the startup will automatically release a €200 reimbursement within 48 hours via an integrated insurance partner.
And it’s the insurance angle where the real growth of Sharelock comes into play here. Through the collection of user data, the company can then offer partners, i.e. cities, mobile operators, etc. a stream of valuable numbers and figures. This data will be key when developing new products and features including items as simple as trip optimisation tools right on through to, and here it is, insurance product deployments.
The company reports that it is already hard at work on developing and deploying its own innovations and solutions within the insurance sector.
“Since the start of the pandemic, bicycle use in cities has increased significantly. Finding a place to park your bike safely, however, is still a challenge. Sharelock’s solution addresses this issue by offering cities a simple, convenient and completely free solution. Moreover, thanks to the mobility data collected via its application, Sharelock will allow cities to better understand and map the needs of their inhabitants. This is something very new," commented Breega’s François Paulus.