60-second start-up: Bikmo

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence

Bikmo is an intelligent search and product comparison website for bikes, kit and clothing.

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

Bikmo is mainly focused around affiliate marketing, meaning we generate a % of the total basket when a user clicks through to and completes a purchase at one of our retail partners.

We also license our technology and data for third party applications.

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

The main one is Google Shopping as it’s so ubiquitous – the main search is used in over 90% of UK searches.  However, there’s far too much choice, which is where we add value to anyone looking for bikes, kit or clothing.

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

We save users having to search through numerous retailer, manufacturer and video websites by bringing everything together in one place.

Our Search & Fit function matches products to the bike you own, meaning you don’t have to spend time trying to work out which components fit your bike.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

Initially from a bank loan and selling my VW van and motorbike. We’ve since run a seed funding round which was completed through three angel investors.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

My background is mechanical engineering projects for harsh environments, mainly nuclear decommissioning as well as oil and gas.

I’ve also ran a couple of businesses in the past. The first a landscaping company set up after university which I sold before travelling and the last an e-commerce store for coffee equipment, used as a learning exercise before launching Bikmo.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

From my own frustrations within the industry, spending hours searching for prices, how to save weight on components, video reviews and technical manuals.

The aim was to build a site that I, as a bike nut, would want to use, and it’s still at the core of all the decisions we make.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

Taking on board advice and staying flexible. Particularly the advice of Gareth James, previously of Moneysupermarket.com and now a non-executive with the company. He’s helped direct our business strategy, technology choices and opened up a large network of individuals and companies to support our growth.

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

Trying to be too broad and do everything. We’re far more focussed and successful by doing fewer things well.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

Hmm, tricky one. We’d be the trusty chocolate Hobnob, good for dunking, a pre-ride snack and doubles up as a weapon if you get into trouble with angry grannies.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

I come from a product engineering background and I love the Kickstarter projects, particularly in the bike sector. However, for me it’s got to be the Hovding Airbag for Cyclists. Completely rethinking the helmet for urban cyclists.

http://www.hovding.com/en/

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We’re focussing on building Bikmo and our partnerships in the UK throughout 2014, but looking for partners in Europe, America and Japan to build our presence overseas.

There are a few other projects in the pipeline but we can’t talk much about those for now….

For more information follow Bikmo on Twitter:@ridebikmoand head to the website: http://bikmo.com

 

 

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