The stories of successful start-ups are similar in one respect: the inspiration for the founding idea often comes directly from everyday life. This is the case with Buycycle, a new marketplace that allows people to buy and sell used bicycles.
The founding trio—Jonas Jäger, Florian Senoner and Theodor Golditchuk—devised the concept of an online exchange for used bicycles through their shared passion for cycling and the frustration they all felt when searching for quality used bikes.
Since its conception, Buycycle has gone from strength to strength. It witnessed rapid growth due to increased demand for bicycles during the pandemic, which accelerated with the subsequent supply chain issues that caused a scarcity of new bikes on the market.
Buycycle is now looking to build on these foundations and take the next step, and it's selected Checkout.com as its payments partner to support it on this journey.
Finding a payments partner, not just a payments provider
Before using Checkout.com, Buycycle worked with another international payments provider. However, the team faced constant challenges and didn't receive the desired level of service needed to resolve them.
"Sometimes they froze our funds for a week at a time," Jäger explains. "This was a huge problem, and we usually had to wait days to speak to somebody to find a solution. We were a relatively small customer in this provider's portfolio, so we didn't have a dedicated account manager, requiring us to go through its automated support system."
There were other issues, especially around pricing. Buycycle's founders considered its payment fees to be very high, but there was little they could do since their payments provider used a blended pricing model. This meant the team couldn't uncover where the charges came from. The payments provider also forced Buycycle to pay an additional premium on top of these fees because it used a custom-built platform rather than a commercially available ecommerce solution.
As these issues compounded, the founding team began assessing new payments solutions and contacted Checkout.com. They were immediately impressed by their dedicated German-speaking account team. "The trust was there right from the start," says Jäger. "We immediately knew that in Checkout.com, we had a partner that could support us in achieving our ambition."
Golditchuk agrees: "Checkout.com is passionate about our business model. And from day one, it's demonstrated it has the payments technology and prowess we need to support our planned growth. The wide variety of international payment methods it offers was also essential in our decision to work with Checkout.com."
The cost model is now also right for the trio of founders: Checkout.com uses the transparent IC++ pricing model. It bills transactions individually, and there are no hidden or additional costs. The transaction error rate is constantly at a low level of 0.1% to 0.2%. With its previous payment provider, there were sometimes significant problems with payments via a specific banking institution—since the switch to Checkout.com, these have become a thing of the past.
Excellent ratings and a clear vision
Since its founding over a year ago, transaction volume has skyrocketed by almost 900 percent, and this upward trend is set to continue. It's completed its first financing round and is now looking to expand into segments beyond racing and road bikes. For instance, Buycycle plans to operate a bike refurbishing service. An automated Buyers Guide is already in the pipeline, which helps potential buyers through the buying process using three to four critical guiding questions.
The overriding goal remains rapid growth. "We're the only completely brand-independent marketplace for bikes," says Golditchuk. "Our new refurbishment offering is also planned so that we can repair everything from cargo bikes to racing bikes to e-bikes in the future. We aim to position ourselves internationally as one of Europe's leading marketplaces. We want to become the eBay of the international bicycle market, and Checkout.com will help us achieve that goal."