[Startup Together] Wright Brothers revolutionizes the cycling lifestyle
According to a recent report by the Korea Transportation Research Institute, there are 13.4 million people (aged 12 to 69) who use bicycles, and 3.3 million of them are estimated to ride bicycles every day.
As the bicycle infrastructure continues to improve, such as the expansion of bicycle roads across the country and the bicycle sharing service of public institutions, the number of people who enjoy cycling for health, commuting, or leisure has increased. Along with the increase in the riding population, the bicycle-related industry is also thriving. Bicycle-related insurance, repair, refurbishment, and second-hand sales are expanding into various categories.
WRIGHT BROTHERS, which will be introduced in ‘Startup Together’, brought innovation to the industry in 2018 with certified used bicycle services including non-destructive testing for the first time in Korea. It has created a trustworthy bicycle trading culture in the used bicycle trading market and has established itself as the country’s leading used bicycle trading platform.
The company was also selected as a finalist for the ‘Baby Unicorn 200 Project’ organized by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups in recognition of its high market understanding and technological competitiveness as a bicycle vertical platform such as non-destructive testing, certified used bicycles, and person-to-person transaction (C2C).
WRIGHT BROTHERS, which has been growing rapidly in line with innovative services and eco-friendliness and carbon emission issues, has recently launched ‘SWEET SWEAT’ as its slogan, with the motto of “the pleasure of sweating.” In order to increase the number of people who enjoy bicycling and spread the bicycle culture, WRIGHT BROTHERS opened an offline store on Some Sevit in the Han River and provides various contents.
“Last year, the number of bicycles worldwide increased exponentially, and we also achieved a lot of growth,” said Hee-soo Kim, CEO of WRIGHT BROTHERS. “Following last year’s sales growth, we are expecting 8 billion won in sales this year.
“We plan to raise investment through a Series B round early next year,” she said, “Please watch the growth of WRIGHT BROTHERS, which will expand its bicycle culture scene based on the Han River.”
What is the problem WRIGHT BROTHERS is trying to solve?
We started with the idea that if bicycles are so good, why don’t people ride them? I think ‘sweat life’ is one of the important things in the quality of life of city dwellers, especially when it comes to investment for ‘me’. We’re a service design company for bicycle-friendly ecosystem, not a second-hand store. It’s about celebrating the joy of moving your body and sweating.
How did you solve the problem?
When we first started, we thought a lot: where to start? When we started, there was a boom in shared bicycles, but we thought it was a huge money game, and when we looked into the market, we found that there was no aftermarket. Cars have maintenance, car wash, parking management apps, subscriptions, rentals, leasing, and financing, but bikes are sold by the provider. You can’t even test drive a bike, unlike cars and cell phone? It was because there was no specialized secondary market. So I thought that if we specialized the secondary market for bicycles, the aftermarket for bicycles could also be widely used.
Our strategy for gaining traction in the market was to solve the pain points of high involvement users first. We decided to start with second-hand transactions, which was the pain point of premium bicycle users who were the most involved in bicycles, and once they recognize ‘innovation’, it would be advantageous to expand into the next service. So we started our signature service, the first and only second-hand bicycle certification service in Korea.
And last year, we launched a C2C direct transaction function for used bicycles, and now more than 70% of our total transactions are C2C transactions. The difference between direct sales from other platforms is that we have a different UIUX for searching bicycles, and we are a bicycle information hub. We have a magazine in our website and a YouTube channel. When we ran the content, we realized that what customers want is ‘courses’. Currently, we introduce courses and currently helps individuals introduce and download the course, record their records after using it, display their records, and the shop function is linked to it so that content and commerce can create synergy.
We’ve also strengthened the representation of the category. The goal is to increase the bicycle market size. With the goal of leading the bicycle scene, we launched an offline store in Some Sevit. It is also a certified pre-used showroom, which is our signature service, and introduces the bicycle scene and culture that we believe in. Having pride in riding a bike. We will introduce bicycle urbanism based on the Han River.
We are preparing a B2B2C function for mutual growth with industry players. We are planning to launch a service for both sellers and buyers, both new and used, in the third quarter of this year on this platform. The price of Wright Brothers is becoming the standard for setting second-hand prices in the secondary market. We are currently developing a bicycle market price history function to become a new standard for secondary bicycle transaction. In addition, we are developing an ERP exclusively for bicycles because we believe that the bicycle market needs integrated on-off management and digital transformation.
We want to become a brand that has unique ESG actions. In June, we launched Sweet Sweat Points, which rewards users for reducing carbon emissions with bicycles developed with carbon calculators, and are planning to introduce more people to carbon reduction through recycling bicycles with Seoul City.
What is your service and technical strength?
Our strengths are our services specialized in categories as a vertical platform, multiple patents, and carbon calculator. Starting with our signature service, used certification, we launched C2C direct transaction service last year. We are collaborating with Today’s House for synergy in the CCC: content commerce community, and our ultimate goal and direction is to evolve into a ‘bicycle lifestyle super app’.
What is the size of your target market?
The domestic bicycle market is estimated to be 700 billion won. Just as the golf market is growing in population due to diversification of services on the consumer side, and parts, apparel, tours, screen golf, etc. are growing tremendously due to the changing scene of golf users. We are trying to grow the bicycle market. Our core audience is anyone who rides a bike at least once a month and our coverage audience is anyone who resonates with the health-conscious sweet sweat lifestyle.
What has the team accomplished in the meantime?
First, our transaction has grown 11.4x compared to the previous year. This year, we are targeting 3.5x growth compared to the previous year, and have already achieved 38% of the previous year’s transactions in Q1. Considering that January and February are off-season in the bicycle market, this is an encouraging achievement. In terms of sales, we achieved KRW 30.4 billion annual sales in 21, growing by 3.3% compared to the previous year, and we are targeting KRW 8 billion in sales in 22. Last but not least, we have a number of patents.
How competitive is your team?
The first team was a group of bike experts, with the certification team, and the second stage consisted of people who love bikes. They are people who have experience on the user side and who take pride in the fact that what we are creating a culture for us. Now, we’ve built a team of people who have gone crazy about something. Specialists in the problem we are trying to solve, only so-called geeks who are crazy about their hobbies.
Starting with used bicycles, and we want to become the leading icon for sustainability in bicycles. Even bicycles inevitably emit carbon during the production process. With the carbon calculator developed by WRIGHT BROTHERS, it helps you realize how much you can contribute to the planet with your consumption choices, which is displayed at the bottom of the certified-used / private sale items on our website.
- Kakao Mobility acquires UK-based Splyt… Targeting overseas markets
- ONDA to Provide PMS Solution to Vietnam’s Livie, Entering Global Hotel Market
- Fine stay curation flatform ‘Stayfolio’ acquires AROUND FOLLIE
- Autonomous robotics platform Neubility raises 3 billion won from Samsung Venture Investment
- Pet total healthcare ‘Fitpet’ raises KRW 5 billion from Donghwa Pharmaceuticals
- Algocare launches ‘Algocare at Work’, a personalized nutritional supplement based on AI health analysis
- Korean unicorn MegaZone Cloud makes strategic investment in US cloud gaming platform Now.gg
- Futureplay funds seed investment in Singaporean foodtech ‘Klikit’
- TravelWallet raises KRW 19.7 billion in Series C funding
- Goodgang Labs, a 3D avatar communication platform, raised funding from NAVER D2SF