The founders of streaming music app SoundCloud are launching a new venture – Dance, an electric bike subscription service, in Berlin this month. For €59 (about $68 in U.S. dollars), subscribers will receive delivery and maintenance of and theft protection for an electric bike solely for their personal use, reports The Verge. Initially, the service will be available on an invitation-only basis. For now prospective subscribers, can sign-up for a waitlist. If DANCE is successful, the company hopes to take the electric bike subscription service to the global market.
The concept was created by SoundCloud founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung and Christian Springub, co-founder of Jimdo, a website building and hosting solution. The Dance founders started working on the project before the coronavirus pandemic, but stepped up the launch because of the change in how people view transportation options now.
“We were all excited about transforming cities, the climate impact and the health impact of having more people go to work by bike,” said Quidenus-Wahlforss. “Now, the silver lining of the pandemic is that a lot of cities have said: Let’s just accelerate our micromobility infrastructure.”
Unlike the ride-sharing model available through services like Lime and JUMP, Dance provides each subscriber with the use of their own electric bike.
“When you don’t want your bike any more after several weeks or months, you can just stop the subscription service and someone will come and pick the bike up,” said Quidenus-Wahlforss.
In a statement, Ljung shared how their unique experience will help Dance to be successful.
The electric bike subscription model helps subscribers get access to an e-bike without up front costs and with concierge service and instant repairs when needed. Ljung estimates that the average price of an e-bike is €2300 (about $2,654 in U.S. dollars).
“Music was one of the first industries to experience the shift from ownership to subscription,” Ljung said. “At SoundCloud, we helped usher in this transformation and established the world’s largest and most passionate music community. Now we want to transfer this experience to the mobility space and start a movement that will ultimately make our cities more livable.”
“Don’t buy, subscribe. Bike-concierge included,” says the Dance website. “We don’t sell the Dance e-bike, we only offer it as a subscription. We believe ownership means friction. Friction to buy, friction to repair, friction to protect from theft. Our subscription, with bike-concierge included, removes the hassle and leaves you to focus on what matters, the joy of the ride.”
With the Dance app, subscribers can track, share and control their bikes when they aren’t riding it. When they are, they can use their smartphone and the Dance app as a dashboard of sorts.
The founders share this message with prospective subscribers.
Dear future Dancers,
We believe the electric bike is the ultimate way to move about the city, and a way to move that brings people joy. But today, buying and owning an e-bike is a hassle. With this in mind we set out to create a frictionless e-bike subscription service with no upfront costs and all-inclusive services.
By starting with one of humankind’s greatest inventions, the bicycle, and adding our passion for technology, innovation and subscription we’ve crafted a service that puts state-of-the-art e-bikes and software into the hands of riders all over the world.
We want to establish a movement, a community of empowered riders, all passionate about a brighter tomorrow. Together, as a united voice, and with growing numbers, we’ll transform our cities to become more bike-friendly, greener and livable. Which, in turn, will bring even more people onto e-bikes and further accelerate change.
Join us to experience joyful frictionless movement.
Alex, Eric and Christian
What a great way to leverage so many positives – health, community and caring for the environment – in one subscription! We love the innovation and how the Dance founders are taking the electric bike a step beyond the ride sharing model by leveraging their strengths. The ride sharing model has its place, but there is room for this type of electric bike subscription service too. It leans more toward ownership but without the hassles or costs involved. We are eager to see how Dance does upon launch and how it evolves over time.