Cycling can be a great way to get in shape or just travel around, but one of the downsides of using it as a mode of transportation is that bikes can often be somewhat easy to steal. Even if you are using a lock, you may never see that bike again after somewhat removes your security measure. Enter Estonian startup Bike-ID, which operates a registry that allows cyclists to report their bicycles stolen and to hopefully be reunited with their ride.
The platform works by combining security stickers and micro-ID tags, which can be applied to the bike, and a registry that police can be use to track down stolen bikes. The tags consist of a sticker with a unique code, as well as hundreds of micro tags (0.4mm in size). These security measures may prove useful to law enforcement officials hoping to identity the owner of the bike, but one drawback is that the micro-ID tags are passive data mediums and are therefore unable to transmit the current location of the ride. Nevertheless, some may decide that some sense of security is better than none and opt to purchase the package sold by Bike-ID. The registry can actual be used by anyone in Estonia for free, but the security markings cost 19.90 Euro.
Bike-ID is not just in the business of selling security tags, however, as they also offer insurance plans that would cover the normal price of the bike. They insure just about any bike (with the exception of BMX) for up to 1,000 Euro (per claim) for unexpected damage or theft. Those interested in the insurance must have purchased the security tags and be pretty committed to their bike, as the startup requires that customers pay out 12 months in advance.
Bike-ID only launched about 6 weeks ago, but co-founder and CEO Meeri Klausen tells me that “thousands” of bikes have already been registered. The service is currently only available in Estonia, but they are planning to roll the platform out across Europe. On that issue, the company says they are currently negotiating with partners in the Baltics and Scandinavia. The startup has opted to keep details regarding investment and investors private.