This Seattle-based Startup Is Changing Personal Transportation
“A year after we started the company there were about 7 of us here, now we’re almost 40 people with customers everywhere.” explains Ty Collins, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Rad Power Bikes based in Seattle WA.
The company’s growth has been phenomenal, going from selling their first model through an Indiegogo campaign to a 2-month waitlist for pre-orders.
Described by customers as “bikes that make you feel like a kid again”, the company’s electric bikes use pedal assist technology so the rider is always in complete control of how much boost they want, and when they want to switch the power off entirely.
For those seeking serious speed, a quick twist of the throttle will make their Rad Power Bike register surprising speeds on the built-in LCD dashboard.
Priced between $800 low-end alternatives and $4,000 high-end options, the company offers numerous models for specific purposes, including the RadMini, a foldable commuter bike, and the RadWagon, a cargo bike that can handle larger loads.
“Clearly, we’ve found a market other companies have simply overlooked for far too long.” says Collins.
But it’s more than a superior product that sets this brand apart. “We’re trying to build quality in to every aspect of the customer experience. From pre-sale, to the bikes themselves, to post-sales and customer service.”
With demand for e-bikes growing across the globe, this strategy appears to be paying off.
“Our vision is to build to a company where resources are split evenly between product and customer service. It’s not enough to sell a good product, without exceptional service you’re not there when your customer needs you – no matter how well you’ve designed your product.” adds Collins.
Popular Products Attract Sophisticated Fraudsters
Given the company’s impressive launch, growth trajectory and brand loyalty with customers across the world, it wasn’t long before fraudsters began targeting Rad Power Bikes’ site.
“We started seeing chargebacks and what appeared to be fraudulent orders about a year after we began selling our first model.” says Collins. Since the company’s model is to sell direct to consumers it needed to be sure it could differentiate between legitimate and fraudulent online orders.
“Before Signifyd, we had no choice to but to decline orders we couldn’t confirm were genuine.” explains Collins, whose team found themselves turning away good customers because they simply didn’t have enough data to ensure the orders were legitimate.
But this defensive strategy didn’t protect the company from chargebacks.
“When you’re losing on both ends, you need someone with expertise to solve your problem.” Based on past losses, the team used filters to set up rules to flag fraudulent orders, but that simply didn’t work. “We used rules to isolate orders from certain zip codes, or for certain amounts, or combinations of factors, but we still had chargebacks.”
Given the company’s strict quality standards and high-end features, demand for Rad Power Bikes has grown well beyond the United States.
“There’s growing demand for our bikes in Europe and Canada,” adds Collins. “Accepting and shipping these orders as fast as possible is a priority for us because we know the customer wants to receive their bike as soon as possible.”
Rad Power Bikes’ customers have likely done their research and found the company’s various models through countless media articles, referrals, 5-star ratings and online customer reviews.
“Signifyd’s network of merchants across the world strengthens our ability to accept and ship orders anywhere. Because they’ve likely seen these customers before, buying something else, whereas we’re seeing them for the first time.” explains Collins.
“We didn’t find Signifyd, they found us. What really stood out from the very first conversation was their knowledge of our industry and our customers. They’re not just experts in ecommerce fraud, they actually know our business – so we’re comfortable trusting them with our fraud management practice.”
Guaranteed Fraud Protection
“The difference with Signifyd is their expertise is backed by a financial guarantee. We’re protected against fraud and chargebacks for every order we ship, regardless of order value or delivery address anywhere in the world.” explains Collins.
Signifyd’s ability to absorb fraud losses with Guaranteed Fraud Protection has been key to Rad Power Bikes because it allows the company to continue growing rapidly in new and often unknown markets. With this financial protection, the Rad Power Bikes team can accept more orders and ship them out faster because they’re not losing time in lengthy manual reviews.
In addition, the Rad Power Bikes team can resubmit orders that are declined with supporting evidence, since Signifyd provides all supporting data and complete transparency for the approve/decline rational behind each order.
For Rad Power Bikes this is especially useful when identifying dealers or retailers that may want to resell their products, and thus are ordering in bulk.
“We haven’t had a single fraudulent chargeback since we started with Signifyd. That’s what they said would happen and that’s what actually happened. That goes a long way in business, and for us it makes more sense to scale with Signifyd than to try to do any of this on our own.”