In pioneering the use of e-bikes in South Africa, local startup Pathway Cycles is aiming to create a sustainable business model for its stakeholders and provide a greener, more affordable solution to people looking to get around.
Pathway Cycles is an eco-friendly delivery solution with a tried and tested, trademarked formula that combines e-bikes, digital outdoor advertising and a top-class delivery service.
The startup was founded by Craig Atkinson, Warrick Ross and Trever Wentworth, the latter of which has been investing in e-bikes in the United States since 2016 and spotted the untapped opportunity for this model in South Africa.
In 2018, the trio imported 10 e-bikes for trial usage, and after three years of testing, tweaking and pivoting, launched its deliveries solution in April of last year. “With over 300 successful deliveries on our test e-bikes and six months of intensive trials with one of South Africa’s busiest delivery hubs, Pathway Cycles had zero late deliveries and never ran out of battery life,” Atkinson told Disrupt Africa.
“Our extended battery life makes double shifts possible, giving drivers 100-120 kilometres of travel time each day. With simple, easy to use, plug and play parts, services and repairs are hassle free and affordable.”
With this success under its belt, and having seen growth of more than 350 per cent in its first six months, Pathway Cycles now aims to become the “go-to” e-bike delivery company for the commercial sector. Atkinson said the model has been successful internationally.
“Electric bikes are rapidly becoming the future of deliveries globally, with many companies moving to a greener and more economical solution. Using traditional methods of delivery, such as scooters, cars and motorbikes, is uneconomical, outdated, maintenance and repair intensive and destructive to the environment. With a green solution that is easy on the pocket and with dedicated, on-the-ground customer service and roadside assistance teams, Pathway Cycles is the go-to name in e-bike delivery,” he said.
“E-bikes are enjoyed by riders on their delivery journeys. Pathway Cycles e-bikes are the ideal way to get around Cape Town, as they are regulated and can be used in bicycle lanes. This benefits the delivery riders as they then have their own lanes to use along many of the public roads. Quick and easy deliveries mean happy customers and increased revenue. Add to this the power of digital, mobile, outdoor advertising and the potential for businesses to earn additional income through ViziCube. It is the only turnkey solution for eco-friendly delivery with additional, revenue-generating advertising power.”
Mostly self-funded, though with a little angel capital also on board, Pathway Cycles is now seeking further development funding ahead of a future Series A round. Expansion across South Africa is its first goal, with the startup having already moved into Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. Atkinson said it is also in discussions about expansion into various African and European markets.