ALPEN Storage seeks growth expansion with commercial and residential real estate owners and municipalities
ALPEN Storage, Inc., maker of the ALPEN Bike Capsule, is partnering with multifamily property owners to rent its Capsule to residential tenants throughout the country. After already achieving popularity with cyclists, ALPEN Storage now sets its sights on partnerships within the real estate industry.
The agreements with residential owners are just the beginning, with municipal and commercial contracts on the horizon. By working with landlords across the industry, ALPEN Storage hopes to meet increasing demand and create a new standard for safety and convenience in bike storage.
ALPEN Storage was founded by Eric Pearson, an entrepreneur, commercial real estate veteran and avid cyclist. Pearson created ALPEN Storage to fulfill a straightforward mandate: create a weatherproof bike locker with visual appeal and a satisfying user experience to securely store bikes outside of living and work spaces.
Built from virtually indestructible roto-molded polymer and equipped with an integrated locking mechanism with optional Bluetooth functionality, ALPEN Bike Capsules are made in the U.S.A., by the manufacturer of YETI coolers and engineered to protect and extend the life of a bicycle. The ALPEN Bike Capsule has been developed for both indoor and outdoor use in residential, commercial, and municipal applications.
Pearson said ALPEN Storage’s initial business strategy was to sell its Capsules directly to cyclists and though the product has already found an enthusiastic fan base with riders worldwide, the company has shifted its marketing focus to the real estate industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a reported spike in bike and e-bike sales and this in turn has accelerated interest in the ALPEN Bike Capsule that has required ALPEN Storage to scale up its marketing strategies, seeking new markets in real estate. The e-bike market saw 90 per cent growth in the U.S. in 2019. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, top e-bike brands have reported between 150 per cent and 400 per cent growth.
MRP Realty, a leading Washington, DC based real estate developer, was an early adopter of ALPEN Bike Capsules at several of their newest luxury apartment buildings adjacent to the Washington Nationals ball park. They are currently expanding unit counts and scaling into their property portfolio. “This was a great value proposition for MRP — no upfront costs and ancillary income from a high-demand amenity. Our tenants are loving them and we’re looking to add units throughout our portfolio,” says John Begert, a principal at MRP.
“Multifamily property owners can rent out otherwise “dead space” in their parking garages and common areas by installing ALPEN Bike Capsules for their tenants’ use,” Pearson said. “The bike capsules also serve as an attractive amenity for tenant retention, as some people are considering leaving their apartments for other locations now that remote working has freed up where people can live and work.”
As interest in its product grows, ALPEN Storage has plans to enter the world of commercial real estate, forming relationships with the owners of offices, hotels and retail centers. Already in the Bay Area near San Francisco, water park resort Great Wolf Lodge has installed ALPEN Bike Capsules for its employees to use. ALPEN Storage is also targeting municipalities to install ALPEN Bike Capsules, allowing cyclists to park their bikes safely and conveniently in public spaces without the worry of damage or theft.
The ALPEN Bike Capsule can accommodate bikes of nearly any size or design, including mountain bikes with wide handlebars. It also has plenty of interior space and handy peg board hooks for cycling accessories. With typical high-end bikes now priced upwards of $8,000 and over 1.5 million stolen each year in the U.S. alone, enthusiasts deserve a better alternative for storing these valuable assets. The ALPEN Bike Capsule gives it to them.
Andy Fremder, former Chief Financial Officer of Farallon Capital Management, a San Francisco based investment adviser with significant commercial real estate holdings, was attracted to ALPEN’s business model targeting the vast property amenity space. “When ALPEN shifted its focus from a consumer product to a commercial real estate amenity I became interested from an investment standpoint. I recently upped my stake in the business as global bike ridership and e-bike sales are spiking post-pandemic. I like to invest in good ideas that can scale rapidly,” Fremder said.
ALPEN Storage investor and San Francisco-based venture capitalist Tripp Jones, says the best ideas are the ones that sound obvious when explained. “Something like [the ALPEN Bike Capsule] has got to exist,” Jones said. “Every disruptive new company is going to create a loser in the marketplace and it’s important as an investor to consider the loser because they will fight you — think of rideshare and taxi cabs or streaming services and video stores. The loser here is bike thieves, but no one cares about thieves,” Jones said. “This is not just a consumer product,” he added. “It’s on the nexus of mobility tech and the internet of things. Where it’s headed, you’ll be able to pull up the ALPEN Storage app on your phone and it will tell you where an ALPEN Bike Capsule is located, rent that capsule – have peace of mind that your bike is safe and won’t get stolen.”
ALPEN Storage plans to scale quickly in the largest markets within the U.S. over the next twelve months, with international expansion on the horizon. A smartphone app with geolocation features has been created so that riders will soon be able to locate and rent an ALPEN Bike Capsule in advance of setting out on their ride. For instance, if a cyclist wants to commute from Marin to San Francisco, they will be able to pull up the ALPEN Storage app and find an available Capsule in San Francisco and reserve that unit for their preferred allotment of time. The plan is to pilot this program in select markets early next year. “We see enormous scope for our product and its technology possibilities,” Pearson said.
About ALPEN Storage
ALPEN Storage was founded in 2015 to provide urban cyclists with an appealing alternative to storing bikes inside their living and work spaces. Founder Eric Pearson, a lifelong cyclist, had six of his bikes stolen over the years. Confident that there must be a better way, Pearson set out to design the solution. Cocktail napkin sketches soon evolved to computer-aided designs and ALPEN Storage was born. Visit the ALPEN Storage website here.
|Business Development Contact|
eric /at/ alpenstorage.com