According to Social Bicycles CEO Ryan Rzepecki, the bike share equipment company has raised $1.1 million from David S. Rose, SOS Ventures, Esther Dyson and Karl Ulrich.
Social Bicycles is one of a handful of companies developing smart bikes. As Rzepecki describes, a smart bike has “…an integrated GPS-enabled locking system that works with regular bike racks. Riders can reserve these bikes using a web browser, mobile application, or from the keypad interface on the bike. We have removed the security and authorization system from the docking station and put it onto the bike itself.”
The investment comes as Social Bicycles secures a contract with the City of Hoboken and preps to launch a city-wide program in Tampa this fall. The company currently has operations at the University of Buffalo and the San Francisco Airport.
This is the second major investment in a North American smart bike company in the last year. In October of 2012, Boston-based Zagster received $1 million in investment from LaunchCapital, Frontalis Partners, and others. Zagster has focused its attention to business campuses and universities, and recently launched a program at Yale.