Ad-based bike share HumanForest raises further £2.3 million

Advertising-led e-bike share start up HumanForest has raised £2.3 million in additional cash ahead of its September launch, set for London.

The company, founded by former-Cabify lead Agustin Guilisasti and backed by Cabify founders Juan de Antonio and Vicente Pascual, works on the idea that those hiring will be happy to view advertising as part of a cost reduction for their hire. This allows customers to ride for free for 10 minutes each day and costs £0.15 per minute thereafter, a cost cheaper than many other transport options

HumanForest says that it already operates with zero emissions and estimates that its e-Bikes will facilitate up to 7,000 rides and avoid almost 4 tonnes of CO2 from being emitted into London’s air every day. During last year’s trial, the company grew its number of users by 48% each week and avoided 10 tonnes of CO2.

Set up only in 2019, HumanForest says that its latest cash raise triples the valuation of the company (it says to £32 million). Since its inception the founders have raised £4.5 million in total.

Everyone who works at HumanForest owns part of the company and is employed directly by the startup which has its own warehouses to charge batteries and repair its e-bikes.

Agustin Guilisasti, Founder & CEO at HumanForest said: “Securing this latest round of funding is another exciting milestone for us. We look forward to returning the show of faith from our investors with a successful launch and rapid customer acquisition. We are expecting to reach positive EBITDA after three months of truly green operations.

“Global shared transport, including micro-mobility, will outgrow ride hailing by 2030 and the sector is expected to grow from $7.8bn to $480bn. That is not surprising considering that over the past year, there has been an uptake in cycling as people seek sustainable and healthy transport options. London has a low ratio of shared vehicles compared to other global cities and with the capital opening up again, this is the perfect time for us to launch our e-bikes.”

Caroline Seton, Co-founder & Head of Growth at HumanForest said: “This is an exciting moment in our growth story and, with this support, we are confident that we can become the largest and most popular operator in London.

“Recent data found that mixed gender founder teams are less likely to receive funding than all male founders: for every £1 of VC investment in the UK, mixed gender teams only receive 10p. However, our diverse team, unique business model and innovative technology have been rewarded by investors and this is just the first step in our plans for global expansion. We can’t wait for Londoners to use our e-Bikes as the most affordable mobility option, to improve their health and wellbeing, and to protect the planet.”