Introducing Our Founders And Lead Investor
Started in 2016 by a couple passionate about cycling, the economy and minimising waste the Bike Club has since grown to over 25,000 members. Attracting a small group of influential investors, including the founder of Fitness First, tBC has a board of directors and aspirational management team.
James Symes, Founder & CEO
James grew up in Kent, has two older brothers and is a Chartered Accountant. He started his first business at the age of 20, which is now a multi-million pound turnover company.
James has ridden a motorbike to Mongolia (yes, from the UK), stood for parliament in 2015 and has completed an ironman (it's a pretty tough triathlon; 2.4 swim, followed by a 112 mile cycle, followed by a marathon 🏊🚲🏃)
In 2019, James left KPMG to take over as CEO of the Bike Club. He has since raised over £850k and grown the business by 267%.
Alexandra Rico-Lloyd, Founder & COO
James refers to Alexandra as the "true entrepreneur".
She grew up in South East London, is the eldest of four siblings and attended the local Girls Grammar School. Rebellious by nature, Alexandra left school at 17 to launch straight into work, commencing her career as an apprentice at City Hall.
Although never having completed an ironman, Alexandra has always loved the outdoors. She loved Air Cadets as a child, and trekked to Base Camp Everest at 17.
Leaving her IT career in 2017, Alexandra bootstrapped (i.e. ran the Bike Club using existing finances - savings, re-mortgaging, credit cards and loans) the Bike Club, growing it from £0 to £348k in recurring revenue.
Alexandra and James met on Tinder, are married and have a 17 month old son called Lucian. Their relationship has always involved a shared love for bicycles, and in fact their second date was a cycle through London.
Mike Balfour, Chairman & Lead Investor
Mike is a proven entrepreneur. He founded Fitness First, the genesis of the UK gym industry and grew the business to over £850m enterprise value.
Since exiting, he has become a successful angel investor, most recently achieving a 3x exit for Crowdcube investors of 1Rebel, London-based fitness concept.
As chairman of the Bike Club, Mike is heavily involved in the strategy and product development; attending monthly board meetings and having regular (roughly every 9 hours by our last analysis) phone calls with the founders. A 'club man' by nature, he's excited about the future of the Bike Club and the community culture and value that can be created for our members.
"Bringing Mike on was one of the best decisions we made. He's been crucial to our growth over the past 12 months. He's a great mentor, and truly understands what we're trying to achieve with the Bike Club. We're a long way off right now, but it's really exciting to see what we've achieved so far." - Alexandra Rico-Lloyd
You can also read our blog explaining what Bike Club is.