I’m a sucker for a cycling related pitch and back in the second half of 2013 I and 112 other investors took a punt on Bird Cycleworks (trading as Bird MTB) designers, builders and sellers of a range of high-end mountain bikes direct to consumers. This week they take the award for most sustained radio silence of any of my Seedrs investments. We last heard from them on October 19th 2016 when they announced a new model.
I’ve had a scout about and they seem to be doing alright, their Facebook feed seems to be well organised and they have demo days coming up over the next month or so. They also announced a new race team at the end of Feb, partnering with the cycle clothing brand Morvélo, this seems to be contributing well to their image with a few decent results under their belt already. The only concern is the disappearance of their Twitter feed and the resulting broken link on their website.
Their accounts don’t look too alarming either, although they only have accounts made up to September 2015 available on CH. Their loss account only grew by a few thousand on the year before. It also looks like they’d taken on twice as much stock as the year before – a positive sign of growth. Being a seasonal market, much of the stock is on-boarded in time for the start of the season, from what I understand there are significant lead-times for many of the components so it makes sense that they hold a lot of stock to allow them to build bikes with sensible delivery dates. There are many a bike company who have suffered from poor reviews as a result of late orders – often caused by a lack of component stock. I can well imagine it being a difficult balancing act, trying to decide how much stock to hold, something I’m sure they’ll get better at as the company matures.
The MTB (mountain bike) market attracts a certain kind of person and a certain more laid-back way of life – What with my city desk job, it’s one I’m jealous of. I get to head out on the bike far less than I’d like, but if I could chuck it all in and be financially comfortable and do something I really enjoy, I’d setup a cafe/bike shop or if I had a lot of spare money, a bike park. These guys aren’t in it for the money, they’re in it because they love it. I didn’t invest for a return, I invested because I’d buy a bike from these guys and I’d like to think with my investment the potential discount and personal touch they offer will be worth it when I can justify a purchase to the other half… Hopefully they’ll be around that long, or at least long enough to get them off the top of the radio silence list!