Urban

From pizza to global stage – UBCO takes its bikes overseas

Ever noticed the electric bikes Domino’s use to deliver your pizza? These bikes are the work of UBCO – a New Zealand company about to take a leap onto the world stage.

In collaboration with REEF Technology, leader in the electric adventure vehicle (EAV) field, UBCO, is going global.

Having recently celebrated its 7th birthday, UBCO began in Tauranga in 2015, creating electric bikes that can be used both on and off road.

CEO Katherine Sandford says the company started with a vision to create a vehicle that could be used in different terrains with little impact on the environment.

Since then, UBCO has worked with Domino’s since 2019 supplying the company with over 70 vehicles, each bike travelling 20,000kms per year.

Read more: Green Light: UBCO partners with Carbn Group to expand vehicle subscription model.

Partnering with REEF is opening the doors for UBCO to target the global market as part of its omnichannel approach to integrate different models of retail in the business.

As the largest operator of parking real estate and delivery restaurants, REEF provides community hubs in urban settings for businesses, moving away from traditional brick and mortar stores.

Katherine Sandford.

Nick Lonergan, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for REEF says that the partnership with UBCO comes at a time where “consumer interest in electrified vehicles and sustainable transportation alternatives grow”.

With REEF, UBCO utilises the hyperlocal settings provided with over 8,000 neighbourhood locations across the world to showcase its EAV’s in designated hubs.

“As well as more locations, this innovative model will transform the way we engage with customers by making us more accessible as a living member of local consumer and business communities. In addition, the container model offers far more flexibility and lower infrastructure costs than fixed shopfronts,” says Niel Tierney, Chief Customer Officer at UBCO.

Sandford adds that the partnership with REEF allows UBCO to have the flexibility of optionality in the retail space and reach out to a broader audience base as they go global.

UBCO was able to launch its first hub at a REEF location in London in April 2022, where it has been able to showcase its products, let customers test drive the bikes, receive free coffee and more.

“We’re all about bums on the seats,” says Sandford, who adds that the partnership works perfectly with the businesses ideology of trying the product out.

UBCO provides electronic adventure vehicles (EAV).

“Once you get your hand on the throttle, the actual experience is game changing.”

Sandford says since Covid-19, there has been a drive for people wanting to explore their surroundings, which UBCO has seen an uptake ever since especially in the United States.

Since the launch, Sandford says UBCO has seen quite a lot of interest with customers in the London area.

UBCO is expected to open more hubs in the future, later expanding to the United States as they join other big names under REEF including Uber Eats, Deliveroo, Wendy’s, DoorDash and Postmates.

UBCO aims to go even bigger globally after receiving $30 million USD in 2021 for funding in global expansion.

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Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email bernadette.basagre@scg.net.nz

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