We don’t often feature crowdfunding pitches, even though plenty come to our inboxes, because most are strange ideas from people’s garages that the bike industry has tried before. MTBNB is a bit different though: It’s not quite couch surfing for mountain bikers, though it includes that; the main focus is trying to create something where people can find and exchange local knowledge.
The plan seems to be that it’ll run on yearly membership fees, and from the Three – Verb – Tagline, to expressions like “join the movement now” it hits on some colossal marketing clichés, but the idea behind it isn’t unsound: Unless you’re going to a destination known for hosting a lot of riders, trawling generic listings to find bike-friendly accommodation can be a real pain. It’s not the first niche-specific couch-surfing thing we’ve seen, but it is the first mountain bike specific one and is aiming at more than just linking people up with friendly accommodation.
It’ll run via membership fees, and they’re asking for money for two things: to add more features to the website they’re launching next month, and to help them get into a business accelerator programme, which probably, ultimately means pitching to venture capitalists. See what you think, and take a look at their Indiegogo.
(No video showing? Here’s a link).
Lack of local knowledge is a familiar problem to a lot of riders – we get it here sometimes; a rider turns up having heard the riding’s good around Hebden Bridge, pootles around a couple of the tamest, most obvious bridleways, then goes home to tell everyone it’s rubbish. Or a friend goes off in search of [Super Rad Gnar Woods] in Derbyshire, takes a wrong turn and ends up on a towpath. Whether MTBNB is the solution to this kind of thing or not remains to be seen.
The Indiegogo page also contains short profiles of the founders, who certainly sound very businessy and startuppy. Some of the future plans are a bit vague, but the rewards at least are tangible. If nothing else, the video has some stunning locations. It appears to be Réunion Island, off Madagascar. I reckon that when MTBNB launch, any mountain bikers signed up and living there are going to get a lot of friend requests.