Dance is a new e-bike subscription service launched by SoundCloud's co-founders. The invitation-only program, which includes delivery, maintenance and theft protection, starts this month in Berlin. This is the latest service trying to take advantage of the e-bike boom by switching to a Netflix or Spotify model for transportation.
Dance was founded by SoundCloud founders Eric Quidenus-Wahlforss and Alexander Ljung together with the co-founder of web design startup Jimdo, Christian Springub. Your suggestion is based on a few hard truths about e-bikes: They are expensive, usually cost 1,700 euros or more, and are prone to theft. Dance hopes to address these concerns while repeating the success of various music subscriptions.
"Music was one of the first industries to see the move from ownership to subscription," Ljung said in a statement. “At SoundCloud, we initiated this change and founded 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 ultimately makes our cities more livable. "
"Now we want to transfer this experience to the mobility space."
Interested customers based in Berlin are asked to register for a waiting list. You will then be asked to subscribe to the “introductory price” of € 59 per month. This price includes service, theft protection and concierge service. The company claims to be able to deliver the bike to a customer's door “within 24 hours”. And if the bike is stolen, Dance says that it will be replaced "immediately".
As far as the bike itself is concerned, the company only provides sparse details. A photo provided by the company appears to show a racing bike with a retracted handlebar, rear hub motor, belt drive, and a battery attached to the down tube. It will have a 250 W motor (required by EU law), a range of 45 km and a replaceable battery. Due to the cobblestone streets in Berlin, the motorcycles will be equipped with high-quality tires with suspension, a spokesman said, adding: "The details of our second-generation dance bike for worldwide roll-out will follow in due course."
It remains to be seen if Dance can build a profitable business, but there can be a long runway to find out. The company has many well-funded venture capital firms in its corner, including VC BlueYard Capital, based in Berlin, and includes investors Ilkka Paananen (founder and CEO of Supercell), Jeannette zu Fürstenberg (La Famiglia) and Kevin P. Ryan (founder and CEO of AlleyCorp), Neil Parikh (founder and CSO of Casper), Bjarke Ingels (founder and CEO of Big Architects) and several others.
Dance is not the first company to offer micromobility vehicles as a subscription. The company will compete with swapfiets, which is very well established in some European markets. The Dutch company recently expanded its product list to include e-bikes and launched it in Berlin in July. And in the United States, Bird and Lime experimented with subscriptions to their electric scooters, with mixed results.