Mozambikes: Branded Bicycles

Bicycles change lives.  Quality branded bicycles by Mozambikes provide access to healthcare, education, clean water and income opportunities with a model that leverages the purchasing power of companies and organizations by making the bicycle more than just "two wheels".  For these partners, Mozambikes are effective forms of advertising, social responsibility, employee bonuses and of course, quality transport.  

At a Glance

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About This Innovation

Innovation Stats

Funding Goal ($): 
Innovation Type: 
What phase of development is your innovation currently in?: 
Potential Lives Impacted: 
2,000,000
Actual Lives Impacted: 
35,000
Where did you create your innovation?: 
Where have you implemented your innovation?: 

Provide a status update for your Innovation.

With over 7,000 bicycles on the road and sales across over 100 branding clients, Mozambikes is proud of the proven branded bicycle model.  At this point, we are seeking funds to lower our cost of capital and implement numerous exciting growth initiatives (Scaling Up Phase).
 
Debt:  Mozambikes is raising $100,000 to dedicate to funding working capital to reduce the cost of capital of the Company.  There is very little inventory risk at this time, as the Company begins to sell its eighth container of bicycles. Working capital loans from commercial lenders have high interest rates above 25%, which are entirely prohibitive Mozambikes, as it would choke the business and not allow for sustainability.  As a result, we are seeking a patient capital loan.
 
Equity:  The Company is also seeking to bring on an equity partner to provide $500,000 to realize a number of growth plans, including the following:
 
Sales Team Development:  Build-out client-specific sales team
Develop robust local and international communications plan
One-time promotion: Graphic design, video development
Develop retail channels for Ad-to-Retail sales and Sales of Unbranded Bikes
Expand into South Africa - Guateng market
Build market demand for new products prototyped: trailer, ambulance and bike rack
Roll out the Bicycle as a Micro-Loan program
Relaunch Company website 

How does your innovation work?

Mozambikes, Limitada is a Mozambican business created to address the transportation needs in the developing world by making higher quality bicycles accessible to low-income, rural Mozambicans.  The business is a for-profit social venture, seeking profits to scale the social mission of the company, which is to alleviate poverty through efficient transportation.  

The Mozambikes theory of change centers around the fact that lack of transport exacerbates poverty (such that over 12 million Mozambicans live on less than $2 per day), and that resolving this problem with affordable and quality transport can change lives and entire communities.  With our bicycles, Mozambicans can access schools, clinics and clean water.  They can reach markets with higher demand and more fair prices, carry more product and achieve all this while enabling more time for family.  The Mozambikes approach is innovative in converting the bicycle into something of value for those with purchasing power – the private sector and NGOs.  By branding the bicycles, we turn them into more than “two wheels”.  Our bikes are more functional CSR initiatives, more sustainable employee bonuses, and the most cost-effective and ONLY form of advertising/marketing that can penetrate rural markets.  Our proprietary design, higher quality and more appropriate for local conditions, provides a more sustainable impact and incurs brand loyalty for years.

Do you have current users or testers?

Mozambikes has over 7,000 bicycles on the roads in Mozambique, and over 100 branding customers across all sectors and industries.  Mozambikes are in use across all 10 Provinces in Mozambique.  Mozambikes are currently used as promotional items, effective advertising, employee bonuses, corporate social responsibility, among other uses by the branding partners.  For the end-users, our bicycles are providing transport to schools, clinics and markets.  They are carrying more crops to sell and translating to higher daily incomes.  They provide daily transport to avoid using public transport which can be slow, hazardous and cost approximately 20% of minimum wage incomes.

What is your strategy for expanding use of your innovation?

Management is planning the following growth initiatives are planned for the short-medium term:
 
Organic Growth Potential – Mozambikes still has significant room for growth within its current business model.  The Company has engaged in minimal advertising to date, reaching branded bicycle clients largely through direct emails.  Second, although the primary of mission of Mozambikes is to change the lives of rural Mozambicans, the Company also seeks to address the urban challenge for bicycles – bicycles for leisure and daily transport in the city.  Mozambikes sells unbranded bicycles to individuals, though has yet to publicize and truly exploit this channel.  With just a small amount of publicity, particularly given increasing incomes in Maputo, there is a strong potential for this high margin channel. 
 
Product Expansion – We have developed prototypes for locally produced bicycle trailers, ambulances and other bicycle technologies, and have yet to build out market demand.
 
Geographic Expansion – The markets around Mozambique have attractive demographics and a similar market need for affordable transportation.  Mozambikes intends to expand first to South Africa and Swaziland, leveraging its warehouse in Southern Mozambique to supply these markets with minimal additional costs.  The Company also intends to enter Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia, which border Mozambique to the West.

International Partnerships - Currently branded bicycles are targeted to companies and organizations within Mozambique for obvious reasons of their operations on the ground.  However thousands of large corporations have philanthropic/foundation programs within which donating branded bicycles into low income communities in Mozambique would be compatible.  In 2016, Mozambikes will focus on forming many such partnerships.

Next Steps

The next steps for Mozambikes follow directly upon the plans outlined in the debt and equity fundraising discussed above, and the expansion plans described in the sections above.

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