Founded by Andrew Rechten, Active Commuting design and build specific turnkey solutions for secure bike parking, showers and lockers to encourage eco-friendly commuting.
Andrew was in the middle of changing jobs when inspiration struck. Of two prospective employers, one could not provide any form of cycle storage and another had a 14 month waiting list. It quickly became apparent that there were many people in Andrew’s situation and when he looked further into the issue, the hurdles for providing static commuting solutions were considerable.
Landlords would only provide start-up companies short-term leases, refurbishment and dilapidation costs were high and the space required was expensive and hard to acquire. All of this meant that a large capital investment would be required with no guarantee of a return.
It was at this point that Andrew realised that any solution to the problem would need to be portable and as a result, Andrew and his brother Paul, who is an architect, sought to design a modular facility and source a manufacturer to turn their idea into a reality.
It was at this stage the company were approached Cycling Weekly, who featured Active Commuting in their publication which led to numerous enquiries from companies who wanted to provide these facilities for their staff.
In order to take advantage of the interest in their products the company needed to secure finance. Having been let down by one financier and been turned down for investment by a high street bank, Andrew sought the services of Enterprise for London and was introduced to the Start and Grow programme by his business advisor Peng Seng Ong.
“Peng has made a very valuable contribution to the business. He helped refine the business plan and brush up our forecasts, take an objective view and provide constructive criticism. His in-depth knowledge of business across the spectrum is very beneficial to our company. It was Peng who introduced me to Lombard, they have been very supportive of our business and have financed our first facility. Without Peng’s introduction it could have taken a lot longer to get to where we are today”.
Having already secured his first order the finance provided by Lombard has helped the company complete their first facility.
Shiraz Butt from Lombard said:
“Andrew’s understanding and passion for the sector was evident from the first time I spoke to him about financing the pods. His background in investments gave me comfort in his ability in making calculated risks and having the ability of leading the business in the right direction. When Andrew provided me with the company’s business plan it made it that much more easier for me to support the application, as it was to the point, yet detailed in great depth. The idea in itself is unique; personally through my many years of experience in finance can see the demand element behind the product and it is very rare for a new start-up company to approach an asset finance company for funds with already secured contracts in place”.
Active Commuting have subsequently secured contracts with GE Healthcare and the NHS to provide bespoke cycling storage solutions for their employees.
For more information about Active Commuting visit http://active-commuting.com/
Start & Grow is a heavily subsidised programme funded by the Regional Growth Fund. Enterprise for London can work with eligible business to give one-to-one advice, training, workshops and numerous other benefits.
To find out more contact us on 020 7101 0696 or fill out our contact form and we will give you a call.