Malaysia has seen bike sharing services like oBike and ofo come and go, leaving a messy trail of abandoned bikes strewn all over in their wake.
Then we had Singaporean e-scooter startups Neuron Mobility and Beam enter our urban areas just earlier this year.
Beam is currently still operational within KL city, while Neuron Mobility announced in its app that they are pausing their service in Cyberjaya for an upgrade, effective November 15, 2019.
So, it seems like our very own Malaysian e-scooter startup, TRYKE, entered at just the right time, with its operations in Cyberjaya.
Assembling The Parts
Founded by Timothy Wong and Shazwan Abdul Razak, TRYKE was launched in Cyberjaya on November 22, although its launch pad was in Iskandar Puteri a little earlier this year.
Timothy graduated with a BSc. In Mechanical Engineering and spent 3 years employed in a US Fortune 500 CPG company as a product engineer.
On the other hand, Shazwan graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration and is now in charge of overseeing the company’s financial matters to ensure its longevity.
The inspiration behind launching TRYKE started with Timothy’s experience when he was living in the US.
In the middle of 2018, he noticed shared mobility services like Lime and Bird popping up in the city.
Intrigued, he took his first ride on a randomly parked Lime e-scooter in front of his apartment, and it immediately changed his life.
“The convenience, value and experience I had was unlike any other, and it stuck with me even after I returned from the US towards the end of 2018,” Timothy told Vulcan Post.
Malaysia’s horrible traffic conditions soon became a daily pain point for him, so he bought a personal e-scooter to navigate his surroundings.
Passersby who were interested in riding one began stopping and questioning him, but couldn’t accept the steep price point.
Then Timothy recalled his experience with Lime in the US, and began to study the market, business model, and what it would take to bring an e-scooter service to Malaysia.
Fast forward to January 2019, and TRYKE was born.
Planning The Route
TRYKE was developed with one main thing in mind: to hit the market in the fastest, cheapest way possible.
To do this, the team simply found and pieced together readily available and existing off-the-shelf software and hardware components.
This helped them quickly perform market validation and prove to themselves as well as future investors the potential of shared micro-mobility.
Assembling the e-scooters themselves also allowed them to offer the lowest e-scooter pricing thus far: RM1 to unlock the bike, plus RM0.30 per minute of usage.
In comparison, Beam charges RM1.50 to unlock and RM0.45 for every minute of riding.
TRYKE also has daily, weekly and monthly ride passes for RM20, RM45, and RM150 respectively.
Cyberjaya was chosen as TRYKE’s first city launch in Klang Valley due to a variety of factors, which Timothy said are:
- Excellent infrastructure (bike lanes and sidewalks)
- Lower road traffic, which leads to lower accident risks
- Strong support from stakeholders and the local authority for innovative and new technologies to conduct pilot/test programs in the smart city
- A vibrant community which consisted of students, young professionals, and tourists
Over the next 12 months, TRYKE aims to expand into universities and key cities across Malaysia, including University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak, Shah Alam, Melaka, and Penang.
Looking Out For Obstacles
No one wants to see e-scooters left all over sidewalks, so TRYKE employs a docking base system which requires users to park their vehicle at a designated physical or virtual station before they are able to end their ride.
If users leave the e-scooter outside a designated parking location, they’ll continue to be charged on a per-minute basis.
Besides parking etiquette, TRYKE also promotes safe and responsible riding etiquette, which they educate users on through their app, social media, website, and parking stations.
They actively engage the community through safety events and campaigns where they offer free rides, safety classes, and pass out special TRYKE helmets to monthly pass buyers for free as well.
Lastly, all users are covered by an insurance policy from the moment they unlock a vehicle to the moment they end their ride.
Doing all this helps TRYKE stay on the good side of the authorities too, as the local regulatory environment is one of the things that keeps the team up at night.
“Some of our friends in Singapore were put out of business overnight due to the sudden tightening of regulations around the use personal mobility devices (PMD), and the same situation could happen to us here in Malaysia,” Timothy said.
To avoid this, TRYKE works closely with local authorities and stakeholders in the cities they wish to operate in to ensure full support before beginning operations.
We strongly believe that the success of our business depends not only on the quality of our service but also the support of our local communities to help build a new culture, change our habits and convince our government on the benefits of micro-mobility for Malaysia.Timothy Wong, Founder of TRYKE
As for competition, whether existing or future ones, Timothy said, “The micro-mobility market is so new that it would take the concerted efforts of multiple public and private players to build and sustain a robust ecosystem and help to shift the commuting culture of Malaysia’s society away from private transportation to public and shared options.”
“Hence, we welcome other players in the market with open arms.”
- You can read more about what we’ve written on e-scooters here.
Featured Image Credit: TRYKE