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Brownlee brothers ride into BikeZaar’s first investment round

by Charlotte Scott|27th June 2019

Online bike firm BikeZaar has achieved a first-round investment totalling six-figures, with part of the funding coming from established angel investors Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.

The Leeds-based traithletes have made the investment into the Stoke-based firm via not-for-profit angel investment organisation NorthInvest. The Brownlees felt that this business was a perfect fit for their investment given their interests and specific skill set, so much so that they have agreed to be the face of the business moving forward with funding granted.

The investment and support through NorthInvest will seek to empower local and independent bike shops, giving them the technological tools to transition from high-street based sales to embracing e-commerce, rather than suffering from it.

BikeZaar operate by providing owners with the digital skills needed to give them the confidence to transition and transact within an online e-commerce community. They also work to support grassroot independent bike shops – empowering these businesses to compete with national and global brands on a more even playing field.

‘It has been a pleasure to work with NorthInvest on the investment in BikeZaar. NorthInvest presented us with the opportunity and have offered advice at every stage of the investment process. We hope BikeZaar will provide the much needed synergy between online retailing and the local bike shop.

Local bike shops have provided us both with crucial support from the beginning of our athletic careers and we still feel there is a crucial role for them to play. By allowing bike sales to be facilitated through local bike shops, we hope more people will be able to enjoy cycling regularly and on properly working and fitted bikes!’

NorthInvest Angel Investor and Olympic Triathlete, Alistair Brownlee MBE

NorthInvest are also thrilled that several other angel investors have contributed significant funding, as they agreed the ethos of BikeZaar and its ambitions in the digital space was a project they were keen to become involved with. They also felt that Kevin Griffiths, CEO and Founder of BikeZaar, had an interesting background which included both the cycling industry and the logistics space.

“We couldn’t be happier to receive this investment and are very grateful to Alistair and Jonny Brownlee for their support, and to the NorthInvest team for their guidance. BikeZaar is all about collaboration and we feel we’ve connected with experts who share our ethos and want to support local retailers by combining tradition and technology.

Thanks to companies like Amazon, Airbnb and Uber, we’re seeing a revolution in e-commerce. Within 3 years it is predicted that 40 percent of all e-commerce will be via a marketplace due to an easy purchasing experience on the consumer side and cost-savings through economies of scale for retailers. With this investment, we can scale this model and make BikeZaar a truly global enterprise that reinvigorates high streets around the world.”

Kevin Griffiths, Founder of BikeZaar