A start-up founded in February 2021 by two former business school students, Thomas Randolph and Théo Roussely, Fredo offers a simple, secure and inexpensive solution for managing self-service bicycle fleets suitable for medium-sized towns. Fredo first deployed a device in Vienna Condrieu agglo (read below), then in Libourne in January 2022, Saintes in May and Bayonne and Anglet in June.

The initial idea was as follows, according to Thomas Randolph: “We grew up in peri-urban towns deploring the absence of self-service bicycles. Actors like JCDecaux or Clear Channel are not interested in it. The cost being too high for uncertain profitability. The partners then launched Fredo (with the help of Groupama, which owns 20% of the capital) and changed the model.

Connected padlocks

The fleets may thus be provided or not by the community and are not necessarily standardized: electrically assisted bicycles (VAE), new or recycled classic bicycles, cargo bicycles, etc. Above all, there is no need for an electric totem on site or terminals that are expensive in themselves and in civil engineering, the bikes each being equipped with a padlock (horseshoe style that blocks the wheel) connected via Bluetooth to the Fredo App mobile application, managed on a proprietary platform – which means that Fredo masters the source code. Upstream, the start-up determines with the community green areas equipped with existing hoops where users pick up and drop off their bikes: “We locate them near sports grounds, schools, cultural or leisure establishments, stations… explains Thomas Randolph. Minimal signage announces the system on site.

The management platform provides users with bike rental prices (set by the community) and their availability. For Fredo, it makes it possible to follow the restitution areas and to have usage statistics, such as the frequency of use.

Local maintenance

On the operating side, a local partner, such as E-Bike solutions in Vienne Condrieu, carries out maintenance, battery servicing and fleet regulation, Fredo uploading the information collected from users to its platform: broken brake, flat tire, etc. .

But how do you discipline bad students who don’t bring their bikes back to a green zone? “As long as the bike does not return to the green zone, the meter is ticking and you therefore pay more, until you lose the deposit: 100 euros on a classic bike and 200 euros on a VAE in Vienne Condrieu, for example. But this only concerns 5% of cases”, relativizes Thomas Randolph. Born for medium-sized cities, this innovation could also appeal to larger cities, due to budgetary contractions.

Contact: Thomas Randolph, co-founder,,

“The cost is lower than the Velo’v in Lyon”

Thierry Sallandre, community advisor to the CA Vienne Condrieu agglomeration (30 municipalities, 90,400 inhabitants, Isère and Rhône), delegate for soft modes

“Fredo offered us the provision of self-service bicycles using existing hoops, with quick implementation and a lower cost than Velo’v in Lyon. We opted for 23 stations, including 18 in Vienna and 5 in three other nearby towns, with 10 electrically assisted bicycles and 20 recycled classic bicycles. We experimented with the device for six months at a cost of 40,000 euros. Rental is free for the first twenty minutes. Fredo then won the tender in April 2022. Between July 2021 and mid-May 2022, 1,784 trips with an average duration of eighteen minutes were made by 225 users, avoiding the emission of 684 kilograms of CO2. »

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Self-service bicycles arrive in medium-sized towns