Bike Index to challenge on a global level with EU hub
Bicycle registration platform Bike Index has expanded its horizons with the opening of a Dutch hub to serve Europe, the firm has told Stolen Ride.
Attributing a value of over $9 million in recovered bikes to its platform, Bike Index’s current stronghold is North America where it claims to have nearly 290,000 bikes catalogued. The non-profit has achieved this with close collaboration with bike shops, cities, schools and community groups. That tally includes some 900 organisational partners, says Craig Dalton, Bike Index’s Executive Director; the majority of which are bicycle stores.
With its opening of a hub in the Netherlands, Bike Index has begun to meet an ambition Dalton says the platform has long been set up to deliver. Based out of San Francisco, Bike Index is sat right on top of some of the world’s most tech savvy minds able to help the system scale and add efficiency.
“We’ve always intended for the project to be global in nature and architected it as such, the privacy stack is built to scale. We have users all over the world, but our focus has been North America up until this year. Our new European hub helps us begin the slow process of gaining support from European shops, manufacturers, cities and law enforcement. We recently added search of the largest Dutch databases to help law enforcement connect with owners who have bikes registered on Bike Index.”
The expansion goes further, reaching beyond the mainland and opening the registration system up to UK residents, adds Dalton.
“We invite all UK bike shop owners to create free organisational accounts and take advantage of our point-of-sale integrations with Lightspeed and Ascend.”
Bicycle retailers are encouraged to “move beyond the transaction with their customers,” advocates Dalton.
“Free bicycle registration on Bike Index is simply a value add to customers at the time of transaction or service. We don’t want to get in the way of any sale, but we’d like shop owners to include us in their post-sale follow up. Bike Index registration is like free insurance. We hope you never need us, but if you do, you’ll be thanking the shop that helped you register.”
The result of such diverse collaboration is Bike Index’s claim to be the world’s most widely used bicycle registration system (though other registration systems do also claim this title).
“We’ve invested in providing our tools at a deeper level to even more cyclists and organisations around the world,” says Dalton. “We’re the only registration service that has integrations with point-of-sale retail systems, along with pawnshop services here in the U.S. and we have the highest recovery rate (that we have seen) of any registration service that publishes that data. Our platform is the only one that is predominantly motivated by the actual recovery of the bike.”
Partners also have the option of retailing Bike Index’s sticker product. While not mandatory, the sticker acts as a complementary identification tag to ward off thieves and inform law enforcement.
“Some of our city/law enforcement partners are providing Bike Index QR stickers to their communities to increase the speed in which officers can get ownership details on a bicycle, but this is an optional service,” concludes Dalton.