A Small Business Story: How the pandemic affected Vélo Presto in a positive way

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Vélo Presto is the UAE’s first and only mobile bike servicing company. They offer convenience, reliability, and quality workmanship at competitive pricing. After their successful funding round with Beehive, we met their Owners and Founder, Nicolas Girot and David Hunt to find out how the funding helped their business and how the pandemic affected Vélo Presto in a positive way.

Using Beehive to Fund your Business   

Why did you choose Beehive for your funding?    

It is the second time that we have used Beehive for our funding requirements. Beehive’s platform is easy to use, and it provides us with great exposure for our brand. We really believe in letting people invest in the success of local businesses. 

What did you use your funding for?    

Vélo Presto is a unique business – it is the UAE’s only mobile bike servicing business. As an expanding local business, we used the money to fit out our fourth mobile bike workshop. This ensures that our customers receive first-class bike servicing outside their homes in a fully equipped mobile bike workshop complete with air conditioning and electricity. Our fourth van will be based in Abu Dhabi, allowing us to service our clients there. 

How did you find the process?  

The process and communication with the Beehive team are always quick and professional. We were fully funded in less than 48 hours, allowing us to move swiftly ahead without long delays in getting access to finance. This allowed us to make firm commitments to our suppliers. 

The Pandemic Impact   

Did COVID-19 affect your business?    

Yes, COVID-19 did affect our business but in a positive way. As our mechanics work inside the mobile workshop, they are isolated and, therefore, safe. Vélo Presto was the only bike servicing company in operation during the lockdown as all the bicycle shops were closed. Because of that, we were classed as an ‘essential service’.  

What has been the biggest challenge throughout this period?   

Luckily, we have not encountered any serious challenges through this period. If anything, it was the speed at which we could service the demand from our customers. However, recruiting skilled bike mechanics is probably the biggest challenge we faced. 

  The Pandemic Pivot   

How did you adapt?   

We introduced a range of safety measures that ensured our mechanics and customers were safe. The mechanics always wore gloves and masks, collected the bikes from outside the customers’ homes, and disinfected them before servicing them in isolation. Once completed, the bikes were disinfected again before returning to the customers, and payments were made using contactless credit card machines. 

How are you operating now and how will you continue in 2021?  

We are operating as normal and will continue to expand in 2021. We have also started operating in Abu Dhabi and now have our fourth mobile workshop in production. Cycling as a sport and leisure activity is growing very fast in the UAE, and we are optimistic about the future.   

What positives, if any, have you experienced from COVID-19?    

As the only mobile bike servicing company in the UAE, we have seen a considerable rise in the knowledge and reputation of our company. Customers realized that we are truly mobile, bringing a fully equipped workshop to the home or office. We save customers the trouble of putting their bike into the car, driving 20 minutes to a shop to drop it off, and then two days later repeating the process to collect the bike.  

  

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