An online networking platform aimed at UK motorbike enthusiasts has landed its second angel investment since the start of the year.
REALRIDER® is a motorcycle community where riders can meet other riders, explore new routes and share experiences through videos, photos and chat in real-time and by location.
The business has landed a new five-figure sum from the Finance for Business North East Angel Fund, following seed investment of £285k at the beginning of the year.
The funding was secured through Rivers Capital Partners.
REALRIDER® was developed by Newcastle-based Zoe Farrington and Andrew Richardson, who have produced award-winning road safety, education, training and publicity work for clients in and around the motorcycle industry for over a decade, and who worked closely for more than a year with Stephen Slater, director at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, to refine the business model.
Users of the platform have their own online “garage” where they list their current bike or a timeline of bikes they’ve owned.
Users can instantly share things they’ve witnessed while out riding, such as potential road hazards or traffic conditions on their favourite routes, and also have access to an emergency location finding service that uses GPS and WiFi technology to help find riders in distress.
Zoe Farrington says: “The motorcycling community’s appetite for the REALRIDER® concept was as great as we’d imagined, and to have hit such a high number of users in such a short space of time really validates the business model we developed.
“Our aim was to create the industry’s most comprehensive and interactive community, and we’ve certainly got a very receptive and involved user base who let us know very quickly which parts of the service they find most useful.
“We’ve attended a lot of motorcycling events since we launched, to ensure that potential users know all about what we’re offering, and there’s been a visible growth in the number of people coming up to us when we’re out and about to both show us how they’re using the app and tell us what they like about it.
“We’ve had a very positive and proactive relationship with Rivers, which made seeking a second investment from them was a natural move.
“The additional funding we’ve secured will help us refine the services we offer and enhance the most valued aspects of them, and we’re confident that this will see our user numbers staying on an increasingly upward trend over the coming months.“
Natalia Blagburn, investment executive at Rivers Capital Partners, adds: “The team at REALRIDER® have been very successful at this early stage in acquiring users and interest from the motorcycle community that is very encouraging to investors.
“I believe that the app will become an essential must have for all keen motorcyclists in the near future, and this investment will allow for further services to be added and to continue the successful growth of the business.“
Stephen Slater, director at RMT, says: “The execution of the REALRIDER® business plan has been carried out with impressive precision by Zoe, Andrew and their team, and securing this new capital shows just how much investor confidence there is in both them and the services they’re offering.“