High-tech e-bike parking & battery charging
Connected IoT infrastructure to support the micromobility revolution
August 30, 2022, Charlottesville, VA – ALPEN Storage, Inc. announced it has raised another $2.55 million in a Seed Round that brings total funding to over $4 million. The private round was led by Felton Group, a Virginia-based family office, and included sixteen founders, as well as executives from Uber, Silverlake, KKR, Uncork Capital, Condeco, Newmark Group and Eastdil Secured.
ALPEN is a mobility technology company with ambitions to capitalize on the explosive e-bike market with its connected network of IoT Bike Capsules, which offer secure, private, fully enclosed bike parking and e-bike battery charging. ALPEN partners with real estate owners, both private and municipal, to upgrade bike parking amenities, which are a critical piece of infrastructure necessary to encourage this fast growing, sustainable form of commuter transportation. The business makes use of underutilized space in parking garages, courtyards, plazas and sidewalks to generate subscription revenue, while solving key concerns of cyclists, both at home and at their destination – security and convenient access to bikes.
Based in Charlottesville, VA, ALPEN was founded by Eric Pearson, a Princeton University graduate with deep experience in the commercial real estate industry. “ALPEN blends my passion for bikes with my connections in the real estate world. After my sixth bike was stolen, I set out to solve a problem for my fellow cyclists who, like me, were living in small, overpriced urban buildings without enough space to properly store expensive bikes,” Pearson says. “I was always stumbling over my bikes in my apartment, trying to keep them dry and safe from theft, and I was hesitant to ride my nice bikes to many places for fear of theft, which is rampant,” he elaborates. “You’d be crazy to lock a $3,000 bike to a traditional bike rack or lamp post out on the town – it would be gone, or at least stripped down, in 10 minutes in most big cities, so I found myself not riding a bike to get around town nearly as often as I would like.” The goal of ALPEN’s Bluetooth lock enabled parking and battery charging network is to enable cyclists to ride bikes more often to more destinations. “Peace of mind is a good thing when you’ve just
invested thousands of dollars into a new bike,” he says.
ALPEN’s new Basecamp Bike Capsule is equipped with a Bluetooth/WiFi lock that is controlled by ALPEN’s smartphone app. There are no physical keys and users are able to geolocate, remotely reserve and rent a Basecamp entirely from their smartphone. ALPEN offers a multi - tiered pricing structure, including an all-access subscription pass, a single-use transaction fee or dedicated monthly access for those who require a private unit 24/7. “Our technology solves not only for the hassles of storing a bike at your home or apartment, but also, and perhaps most importantly, for your destination. Cyclists state security concerns as a primary reason why they don’t ride bikes more often to more places,” according to ALPEN’s VP of Strategic Operations, Brian McCue. “For this two-wheeled mobility revolution to be a long-term success, we need cyclists to feel confident that their precious bikes will remain where they left them,” McCue goes on. “We’re trying to break down the barriers that keep people off of this environmentally sustainable mode of transport.”
ALPEN’s Basecamp Bike Capsule is loaded with high-tech anti-theft features, as well. It also effectively addresses growing concerns around e-bike battery fires, which are getting more and more attention as building fires caused by lithium-ion battery explosions have become more common. Since the beginning of 2021, New York City’s FDNY has investigated 225 e-bike or e-scooter battery fires, which have caused 145 injuries and nine deaths. These fires have caused the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to propose banning the storage of e-bikes inside the city’s 177,000 apartment units, a move that will likely reverberate throughout the real estate and insurance industries. “ALPEN addresses much of this fire risk by getting bikes out of living and work spaces and into less dangerous locations, such as outside or in reinforced concrete parking garages. We are also incorporating technology to detect and suppress battery fires before they can cause significant damage.” Pearson states.
ALPEN investor and San Francisco-based venture capitalist, Tripp Jones, says the best ideas are the ones that sound obvious when explained. “Something like this needs to exist,” Jones says. “It’s at the nexus of mobility tech, prop-tech and the internet of things. And from an investor standpoint, it’s important to consider the loser because they will fight you -- think of rideshare and taxi cabs or streaming services and video stores. But the beauty of ALPEN is that the loser is bike thieves, and no one cares about thieves,” Jones explains.
ALPEN plans to scale quickly in the largest U.S. markets, as well as internationally, within the next couple of years. The primary focus, at the moment, is Washington, DC, a market with one of the nation’s top biking demographics. ALPEN currently has installations with some of the leading commercial landlords in Washington, DC, including JBG Smith, MRP Realty, Avalon Bay, Bozzuto, LaSalle, Kettler and JP Morgan.
With this new Seed Round funding, ALPEN has recently hired two senior tech executives, including a CTO, a Head of Sales and a Director of Social Media Marketing. The company looks to expand the team significantly as it prepares for a Series-A capital raise in 2023.
About ALPEN Storage, Inc.
ALPEN was incorporated in 2018 to provide urban cyclists with an appealing alternative to storing bikes inside their living and work spaces. ALPEN’s first analog products were introduced and tested in the consumer market and the company now has satisfied customers in 12 countries and 24 states in the U.S. However, the company’s success in the consumer market led them to focus on the commercial sector and introduce high-tech, connected IoT products, ideally positioned at the intersection of several high-growth sectors – mobility, prop-tech and IoT – and supported by strong global sustainability/ESG tailwinds and a burgeoning e-bike market. Visit ALPEN’s website at www.alpenstorage.com.