A version of this article appeared in the September issue of BRAIN.
SAN FRANCISCO (BRAIN) — With new integrations with retail point of sale systems allowing frictionless enrollment, partnerships with major used bike sellers, and promoted social media posting options for consumers with stolen bikes, BikeIndex.org is hoping to further reduce the scourge of bike thievery.
BikeIndex began operations in 2014 and has helped recover more than $8.5 million in stolen bikes. The site is operated by a nonprofit organization, but that hasn’t discouraged it from offering tech and marketing partnerships worthy of any aggressive startup.
“There isn’t really a lot of money to be made here,” said Craig Dalton, explaining the organization’s decision to register as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Dalton is an industry veteran who raced bikes and worked for Vetta and Avocet early in his career, before launching a tech industry startup. He joined BikeIndex as executive director earlier this year.
There’s no charge for consumers or retailers to register bikes with the index (about 30% of registrations occur after the bike is already stolen). BikeIndex has registered nearly 300,000 bikes and works with about 800 organizations, including bike shops.
(A for-profit rival, Seattle-based 529 Garage, said it has …read more