EasyBike: BrainBox bike-sharing technologyAn innovative startup becomes the leading bike-sharing system in Greece and Eastern Europe through the strategic use of design.
EasyBike: BrainBox bike-sharing technology
- Business type
- Public bike-sharing
- 6 years (ongoing)
- In-house and commissions
Founded in 2008 and with a team of just 22 people, BrainBox has been the first Greek company to put in place a bike sharing scheme in Greece. Now operating also in Cyprus and Poland, the company offers a seamless, automated and high-tech bike sharing scheme under the brand name of EasyBike.
To create EasyBike, the founder of Brainbox George Voulgaroudis partnered with designer Dimitris Dimitriadis who would lead on project management, marketing and client relationships. Together the pair set out to build the future of bike-sharing.
The founders were inspired and moved by two realities: the pressing need to find a sustainable means of city transportation that reduced CO2 emissions and the emergence of the sharing economy. Enabled by new technology the idea of the sharing economy meant a rise in a new kind of business model, one that provided the consumer with access to products likes bikes as a service, instead of having to own one themselves.
EasyBike allowed municipalities to provide a simple automated system of bike access on a pay-per-use basis. The system can be used by frequent users with a electronic card and by occasional users, using their mobile phone or credit card. BrainBox also offers a complementary system for municipalities, Easybike Bike Parking, which allows users to park and lock personal bikes at Easybike parking stations.
How design helped
BrainBox understood that the success of their bike sharing system depended on much more than offering nice-looking bikes. Design was central to the way the company operated, informing their decision-making processes and market approach as well as concept design, mechanical design, product design, graphic design, web design, 3D modelling, placement selection, sponsorships, branding and operations.
Design is essential to every aspect of the bike sharing project.
EasyBike has been very careful in defining and working on every touchpoint of their service, from the perspective ultimate users — citizens using the bike-sharing system — and their principal customers — cities and municipalities. The company offers a holistic service that starts with defining needs and co-designing a system together with the customer (including feasibility studies and advisory services for urban development plans) as well as the supply and installation of the terminals, and their maintenance after installation, right through to the design of the apps and software.
The success of EasyBike is rooted in an understanding of modern society, societal challenges and emerging user needs, defined and addressed using design methods. CEO George Voulgaroudis and designer Dimitris Dimitriadis have put the creation sustainable city transport, the reduction of air pollution and improving the quality of life of citizens at the heart of its company.
Why do we exist? Because of two user insights: cars are not green, bikes are fun.
When BrainBox launched EasyBike in 2008, it was Greece’s first bike sharing system. Now, less than 8 years later, EasyBike operates in 26 Greek cities, and it has internationalised its services with services up and running in Cyprus and Poland.
BrainBox’s approach to design and innovation has been recognised with awards from: Endeavor Entrepreneur, the Transport & Logistics Awards and the Hellenic Institute of Transport.