The growth of Biciclasica - our parent company, founded twelve years ago and already the number one classic bike marketplace in Europe - and also of our Capri Bikes brand in recent years has been truly spectacular.
Our forecasts for 2022 already project a turnover four times higher than in 2018 and, in fact, so far this year alone we have already invoiced more than twice as much as in the whole of 2019.
Our business plan is ambitious but it is also solid and consistent, very realistic and with a clear focus on the long term.
A good proof of this is the sustainable and organic growth we have been experiencing for more than a decade. Short-termism and large revenues from advertising investment have never interested us and, perhaps for this reason, despite the great growth we have experienced in recent years, our marketing investment for 2022 will be only slightly higher than in 2018 (around 10% more), precisely because our focus is that the growth of Capri Bikes as a brand and Biciclasica as a marketplace is organic and that the profitability is adequate.
However, the general context has changed radically as a result of Corona and the Climate Crisis (which we already knew about but which, with the Glasgow summit just a few months ago, has activated new government policies in all areas, with an important weight in terms of means of transport).
The terrible and immoral "Putin's War" in Ukraine is, unfortunately, the third factor that has highlighted the need for a radical paradigm shift in the energy and consumption model.
This paradigm shift based on these three causes (Pandemic, Climate Crisis and War in Ukraine) has prompted the need for all actors to step forward to facilitate the transition to a new economy (which we have christened "green" and which, according to the World Labour Organisation, will generate four jobs for every job it destroys).
From mechanical to electric bikes
At Capri we have been making electric bicycles for more than three years and mechanical bicycles for more than a decade. Over the last ten years, we have sold more than 30,000 bicycles in more than twenty countries around the world and we also have the experience and knowledge of Biciclasica.com, the number one marketplace for classic bicycles and accessories in Europe.
The momentum of the electric bicycle category and the need to meet the demand generated by the new reality we are talking about, has made us rethink our strategy for the next decade. Our objective will always be to grow in a sustainable and organic way, but we are aware that we are facing a historic opportunity to promote a change that is as necessary as it is important.
Our experience of more than a decade as a manufacturer and distributor "direct to consumer" puts us in a privileged position to meet a demand that has made us grow in countries like Germany, Austria, France or Belgium in a completely exponential way with minimal investment.
Our first electric bike prototypes were sold in a Crowdfunding campaign at the end of 2019 and were a resounding success with their unique design. Thanks to a minimalist design (but never seen on an ebike), they attracted the attention of specialised and generalist media from all over the world. Our battery-bottle, patented by the company, turned out to be something of a "never seen before" in the world of electric bikes.
Consumers who generally had an image of e-bikes as "expensive, heavy and aesthetically unattractive bicycles" were enthusiastic about an ebike that turned out to be the exact opposite. Our slogan "Electric? Yes", summed up perfectly that sense of general disbelief at an electric bike model so minimalist and timeless that it didn't look electric at all. We were featured in Vogue, in ... Japan or even on Brazilian television.
From that moment on, we decided to reorient our strategy by focusing on building the right team to help us improve our first e-bike prototypes and to sort out our business model.
In 2020 and 2021 we continued to grow both Biciclasica.com and Capri Bikes while shoring up the team needed to take our business to a new level. To our factory in Italy we added a new factory in Portugal and also opened a second warehouse in Spain.
Already in 2022 we launched new electric bike models (Capri Berlin electric) and also new, technically flawless versions of our first prototypes (Capri Azur and Capri Metz). The result has been spectacular: in less than six weeks we have sold out our first batches of electric bicycles in their entirety.
New reality and new warehouse
The "new reality" - with a new mindset more open to enjoying the "simple" life as a result of the Pandemic, a growing concern for ecology as a result of the Climate Emergency and soaring inflation (especially due to gas and petrol prices) as a result of Putin's war against the people of Ukraine - has generated a historic demand for bicycles that is on an upward trend. At Capri Bikes we are ready to continue growing to be an important actor of change.
Cities, aware that they cannot absorb more cars, have also embarked on mobility plans in which the bicycle plays a fundamental role. Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan and other major European cities are promoting mobility policies with cycling at the centre. These policies are supported by unprecedented investments in infrastructure and other means, which serve to promote the use of the bicycle, electric or otherwise, as the main means of transport.
But the most important thing is that citizens are responding to this great change in mentality and, in fact, the electric bicycle is already the ideal means of transport to work for 2 out of every 3 Germans, according to a study recently published by Ciclosfera.
At Capri Bikes we are convinced that we have an unbeatable opportunity to be part of the change. Therefore, we are strongly committed to being a key player in the European market by opening a new warehouse in Italy that will help us to meet the growing demand in countries such as Germany, Italy and France, reducing our carbon footprint twice as the warehouse is much closer to our customers but also much closer to our Italian factory.