New Startup BackPedal Uses GPS Tracking To Recover Stolen E-bikes


BackPedal, a UK-based startup, is revolutionizing the world of e-bike recovery by using GPS tracking technology. While many e-bike manufacturers have incorporated GPS trackers into their models to deter theft, BackPedal takes it a step further by offering a comprehensive recovery service to its customers.

A Unique Approach to E-bike Recovery

BackPedal’s co-founder, James Dunn, acknowledges that simply knowing the location of a stolen bike isn’t enough to ensure its recovery. He explains, “Customers don’t care if they can track their bike after a theft. Having a GPS tracker actually doesn’t enable their e-bike recovery. They think, ‘Well, the police won’t do anything. I don’t want to go get my bike back. So what’s the point?’”

Key Takeaway

BackPedal offers a unique solution to the problem of e-bike theft by providing a comprehensive recovery service to its customers, including GPS tracking and collaboration with local police and recovery agents.

With a monthly subscription service starting at £8.99, BackPedal ensures that e-bike owners have a high chance of recovering their stolen bikes. The startup boasts a 90% recovery rate, but for bikes that cannot be brought back, BackPedal offers insurance coverage through Sundays Insurance, one of the largest cycle insurers in the UK.

The Rise of E-bike Theft

E-bike theft has become increasingly prevalent as the adoption of e-bikes continues to rise. According to a report from Cycling Industry News, e-bike insurance policies have seen a 292% increase between 2019 and 2022. BackPedal’s research found that 76% of potential customers prefer the prompt return of their stolen bikes rather than going through the lengthy process of filing an insurance claim and obtaining a replacement bike.

A Comprehensive Recovery Model

BackPedal operates nationwide but primarily focuses on operations in London, Cambridge, and the southeast and south coast of the UK. The startup collaborates with both local police and a network of recovery agents, which includes ex-police officers, security professionals, and contractors. These recovery agents have a deep understanding of the local area and establish relationships with the police.

BackPedal’s remote operations center acts as the hub for receiving customer requests, tracking stolen bikes, managing recovery agents, and liaising with the police. The recovery agents deployed by BackPedal employ various strategies, from confronting potential thieves to retrieving the stolen bikes themselves. If a situation poses danger, the agents wait for the police to take action.

The Trustworthy Partnership with Police

Contrary to popular belief, BackPedal has successfully enlisted the help of local police in their recovery operations. Dunn emphasizes that BackPedal’s status as a professional e-bike recovery firm, rather than private citizens, allows them to establish a trusted relationship with the police. BackPedal promptly reports thefts to the police, providing them with all available evidence to support their recovery efforts.

Dunn envisions BackPedal becoming a trusted partner to the police, working hand in hand to combat the issue of bike theft in communities. The startup aims to refine its hardware and expand its reach as it continues to grow, deploying better trackers and utilizing additional beacon technology to enhance the detection and recovery process.

Scaling and Future Plans

BackPedal has experienced steady growth since its inception, with an average monthly growth rate of nearly 20%. With 500 customers currently on board, the startup aims to reach 1,000 subscribers within the next five months. Adding insurance coverage has been a crucial step for BackPedal to offer a more comprehensive product and position itself for seed funding in the future.

Going forward, BackPedal plans to focus on healthy and sustainable growth. The startup acknowledges the importance of understanding each new market, establishing partnerships with local police, and sourcing recovery agents. Scaling will require the implementation of more GPS trackers on e-bikes, further development of back-end software, and a streamlined approach to entering new markets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *