After securing that sum, valuing their start-up business at £1.4m, they plan to launch Buzzbike in Shoreditch, east London in September of this year.
More than 1,500 cyclists have signed a contract with Buzzbike, who offer a modified Cooper Monza bike with smartphone app, secure lock, insurance and servicing, in exchange for cyclists accepting that their daily ride will double as a mobile advert.
Tom and Andy developed a bike in partnership with specialist bike manufacturer Cooper - the business that invented the Mini Cooper – to provide an initial 200 bikes for lease, and have a five-year strategy to put 6,000 bikes on the road.
Unlike the infamous Boris bikes, each adapted Cooper bike is digitally enabled to promote tailored advertising messages and offers to passers-by. Riders are anonymously tracked so advertisers can target specific locations in London.
Tom and Andy agreed their first advertising partnership with Braintree, the online and mobile payment platform that is part of PayPal.
Andy said: “Our model makes us very competitive compared with traditional outdoor mediums, which I think lack a bit of innovation. We use the analogy of Formula One sponsorship.
"The brand printed on the cars is only a small part of what the advertisers pay for. It’s everything that you do around it that makes it a compelling opportunity. It’s the digital aspect that sets us apart.
“Brands will pay for solutions that go further than standard display advertising. Data capture and the ability to push relevant messages make this quite a premium sponsorship platform.”
Claire Kennedy, partner at the Manchester head office of Beever and Struthers, heads a specialist team advising the duo on tax planning for the future of the business, how best to structure their offer to investors particularly to ensure tax reliefs are obtained and general advice for them as a fledgling business.
Claire said: "Tom and Andy epitomise the entrepreneurial spirit that burns bright in Great Britain and that helps to secure the economic prosperity of UK plc. We wish them every success with their venture and look forward to cyclists throughout London and other major cities being able to use and enjoy a Buzzbike.”
Clare and her colleagues recently undertook a similar exercise for entrepreneur Dan Makin as he gears up to open Dirt Factory, the UK's first dedicated indoor bike park in Manchester.
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