PowUnity is an e-bike safety and security platform, offering GPS theft protection. CEO Stefan Sinnegger recounts some of the company’s highlights
This piece first appeared in the March edition of BikeBiz magazine – get your free subscription here
Can you give us a little background on PowUnity?
We are a pioneer in the field of e-bike IoT and a full-service provider for digital e-bike solutions from Austria. In 2016 we decided to eliminate our customers’ biggest pain point: e-bike theft. We developed the GPS theft protection for e-bikes, BikeTrax. Today we look back to hundreds of prevented or solved e-bike thefts.
Of course, not every BikeTrax user tells us that his e-bike has been stolen or was found again. But we receive a bunch of messages from happy e-bikers who got their bike back with the help of the GPS tracker BikeTrax. Our fastest catch happened in between 12 minutes – from the moment the bike was stolen until the handcuffs clicked – it was in the middle of the night. Our video series ‘BikeTrax Hits’ shows the best success stories on YouTube.
Today, years after our first steps, we pass on our learnings and experience one-to-one to our B2B partners. PowUnity‘s mission is to drive digitalization in the e-bike market. We are convinced that excellent product development only works when you are on the front lines yourself. Our expertise flows directly into the product development of e-bike manufacturer partners. Together we develop apps and services that connect to the e-bike and all of its possible components via Bluetooth and our IoT-gateway. The IoT-gateway is our GPS-Tracker BikeTrax which is based on LTE-M and Narrowband-IoT.
What area of the market do you target?
We have three different target groups: e-bike manufacturers, fleet operators and e-bike riders. From the beginning we have been offering the BikeTrax system to e-bikers as a retrofit product and we continuously expand our product range with new engine specific versions. The trackers are sold via our huge dealers and distributors network throughout Europe.
We also offer a PowUnity tracking system for fleet operators that allows the tracking of hundreds or thousands of e-bikes, for example for rental or delivery purposes. Our customers can integrate the PowUnity fleet platform into their own booking system via API interface. They can see and record every route of the e-bikes, manage their fleets more efficiantly, fleet operators in the touristic sectors are for example protected from bogus bookings and have a theft protection on top.
Last but not least we develop whitelabel solutions and unique e-bike IoT solutions for e-bike manufacturers.
What makes your business (product) unique?
We are 100% focused on e-bikes and develop our products and services only for this niche. This laser focus gives us a huge advantage over our competitors who try to cover the whole vehicle and tracking market. And as first mover in the e-bike IoT niche we gained a huge knowhow advantage and continue to advance it.
At the moment we develop our new PowUnity app. This we do with direct feedback from our customers and a special beta app test group. It is very important to develop an e-bike app together with the customer and not bypass the market, otherwise it will not be used. It must also always be thought through further, especially in such a new field as e-bike software.
Everyone wants to implement a mobile application now, e-bike engine manufacturer, the electronic gear and mechanical lock provider are just some of them. But the customers do not want thousands of apps, they want one single app where all services are integrated. We provide such an app and offer it to our manufacturer partners as a white label e-bike app including a data dashboard that shows the use of their e-bikes in various parameters. There are no development costs for the e-bike app for the manufacturers.
We don’t want to sell a product and that’s it. We are creating a new digital business model with our partners. The development period of the white-label e-bike app for manufacturers is also short because the foundation, the PowUnity e-bike app, already exists.
What sort of feedback have you received from the industry?
E-bike owners love the reliability of the PowUnity’s BikeTrax system. E-Bike fleet owners love the easy integration of our position and statistics data into their own systems. E-Bike manufacturers are fond of our collaboration offer that helps them to earn and not burn money.
What are your plans for 2023 and beyond?
We will launch our new PowUnity app during this summer 2023. With this app, BikeTrax users will not only be able to protect their e-bike from theft, but also use their smartphone as an e-bike display. This is where all services come together – from e-bike control to ride statistics to an automatic maintenance and service plan and much more.