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Brazilian Tembici and Itaú launch shared electric bike program in Rio de Janeiro

"We hope, soon, to expand the project not only in Rio de Janeiro but also in other places," Tembici COO Maurício Villar told LABS

Photo: Gabi Correa/ Tembici's courtesy
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Brazilian rental bike business Tembici announced this Friday the launch of the first project in Latin America for shared electric bikes with a docking station system.

In a partnership with Itaú, sponsor of the Bike Itaú program, the implementation begins gradually in Rio de Janeiro, in a pilot format, to monitor the use and performance profile of bicycles. By the end of October, 500 electric bikes will be available to users.

“We are following a worldwide explosion related to the use of biking, and this, without a doubt, is a major milestone when we talk about urban mobility. The implementation of electric bicycles brings a huge gain to the micromobility scenario in Latin America and contributes to the recognition of bicycles as the most efficient way to travel in cities,” says Tomás Martins, Tembici CEO.

At the beginning of the pilot project, e-bikes can be used at no extra cost for some users who already subscribe to Bike Rio plans. From October 5th, with the gradual release of use, qualified users will be able to choose by the electric bicycle at a cost of BRL 3.

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Asked by LABS about why Rio de Janeiro was the first choice for the launch, Tembici co-founder and COO, Maurício Villar, said the company bets on further consolidation. “The use of our bicycles in the city is extremely superior to that of other places. In 2019 alone, Bike Rio made more than 8 million trips,” he pointed out.

“This pilot project in the city will make it easier for us to understand user behavior and the performance of bikes before we expand to other cities.”

Earlier in June, Tembici raised a $47 million Series B round led by the venture capital firms Valor Capital and Redpoint eventures to fuel expansion in the region. The funding was also backed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group‘s investment arm – which marked the first time ever that IFC raised money for a micromobility player.