Meet the merchant: Maeving
Industry Insights, 12th June 2023
Will & Seb are the two founders of Maeving, who specialise in British electric motorcycles with removable batteries that you can charge from any plug socket.
We've been working in collaboration with an agency partner over the last few months to develop a number of custom Shopify features as well as a finance integrations, whilst maintaining tip-top performance metrics.
We sat down with Will & Seb to hear the story behind Maeving and understand what drives them (see what we did there) to lead the charge (c'mon now) in planet-friendly motorcycles.
Let's start with who you are and what the story is behind Maeving?
We’re Will and Seb, the two co-founders of Maeving. We’ve wanted to found a green business together since we became best mates at university. We went on a trip to the far east, saw the removable battery concept had taken off hugely there, and asked ourselves ‘why can’t we make a high-quality, British version?’
Can you tell us what an average work day looks like for you?
No day is the same. Whether we’re in the detail of realising the bike homologation process, planning events and popups, fundraising, hiring staff, defining our brand, designing our website, talking to our customers … there’s always something fascinating to get on with.
What was your biggest 'lightbulb' moment as an e-commerce store owner?
When we realised the incredible (though simple-sounding) power of being able to sell a bike directly to our customers, ourselves: This stands in stark contrast with the rest of the motorcycle industry who must (at best) pass their customers on to a dealer to complete the transaction. We can sell online, at live events and shows, and in person. This means we can very quickly tell the stuff that’s working for us vs. the stuff that isn’t.
What tools/tech can you not live without?
We're fairly old school. I (Will here) spend a disgusting amount of time in excel, as this is a very capital intensive business which requires a careful cashflow management. But now we're in market we're totally in love with Gorgias, as well as obviously Shopify!
If you could go back in time to the start of your journey and save yourself from making a specific mistake, what would you tell yourself?
I think it's more that we nearly made a two big mistakes.
Firstly, we nearly partnered with a company based in China which had a really cool product, but that just wasn't the quality standard needed for the UK market. We pulled the plug at the last minute, but given what we know about quality standards now it would have been a disaster. Moral of the story - no matter how much you wish something would work, if it's not a perfect fit, when the realities of starting up hit, it will collapse.
Secondly, when we were doing our first fundraise, we nearly took money from the wrong group of investors. Given what we've gone through subsequently, and how important our investors' guidance and support has been, we couldn't be stronger believers that picking the "right" investors is a crucial early step.
What would you say is the most important thing an ecommerce brand should do to make a positive impact on people and the planet?
People want to make a difference to the climate crisis – they know this is important. However, brands must appeal to the head and the heart – give your customers a way to make a difference in a way that they can also fall in love with.
Is there anything on the horizon for Maeving that you're really excited about?
We’ve sold out our first hundred bikes which was a huge moment for us. We’re really excited to put the RM1 on general release, so that anybody can order them!
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