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VeloGuide matches cyclists with guides

Published June 21, 2019

CALGARY, Alberta (BRAIN) — Travelers seeking a guide and perhaps a bike in far-flung locations can opt for VeloGuide, an app offered by Canadian entrepreneur Joel Goralski. VeloGuide wants to do for bike travel what Airbnb and Uber did for home and ride sharing.

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The company works with guides around the world, including an array of well-known current and retired pro cyclists and local experts. The guides set their own rates to lead rides, starting at about $50 and going up to over $500 for some pros. VeloGuide retains 15-25% depending on the guide’s volume. There is a 5% service fee added to each booking.

VeloGuide soft launched in 2017 with a website and unveiled its mobile app last summer. It raised $360,000 on FrontFundr.com, a Canadian equity crowdfunding platform, in a campaign that ended in January. The company now says it has 1,400 guides in more than 550 cities in 66 countries.

In September, it soft-launched a bike shop rental management software called VeloLister. A company spokesman told BRAIN that the software is no longer offered. Under the current format, cyclists who don’t travel with a bike can ask their guide to arrange for a rental in their chosen ride area. The guides arrange the rentals through local shops or independent bike owners.

VeloGuide also recently entered into a partnership with Airbnb to offer VeloGuide experiences in major cities around the world. “We are starting with around 12 and hope to have over 75 within the next two months,” Goralski said.

Goralski launched the company based on his experience running a hotel in Mexico that catered to visiting cyclists in the winter.

“We asked ourselves, if a small sleepy village in Mexico could generate in excess of $100,000 a year over the course of five months, what could this look like from a global perspective?”

VeloGuide founder Joel Goralski

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