It was this It was without doubt a general electric scooter. Between the huge fundraising rounds, the noble assessments and the entrance of both Ober and Leif in space, it is clear that these scooters are present in the long term.
But just because investors poured hundreds of millions of dollars into these companies last year, the scooter trade is not without its difficulties. In fact, it is a very difficult business with a difficult unit economy, organizational challenges based on the city of each city, and a huge number of competitors competing for a small market share of traffic services.
It is only a matter of time before integration becomes the only way to survive. We have already begun to see some early signs of this through Uber's partnership with Lime, as well as the acquisition of Spin by Ford. Let's take a look at how the industry is getting to what it is today.
BIRD, currently worth US $ 2 billion, was the first company to operate in the field of electric scooters, first published in September 2017 in Santa Monica, California one year later, Bird said it hit 10 million flights in more than 100 cities and more than 2 million passengers at the time.
Then he came yarn, Which started as a start-up bike share. In February, Spin announced Plans to get to sharing electric scooter before finally It was decided in June that Everything was on scooters. Quickly Forward to November, And Ford decided to eat up spin in a deal Worth close to $ 100 million.
The next was Gear, Which also got its beginnings as a bicycle share company. Also in February, Lime is revealed to be taken on electric scooters. Since then, Lime has deployed scooters in more than 100 cities in the United States and 27 international cities. Lime also partnered with Uber to offer Lime scooters within the Uber application.
Skip, founded by the founder of Boosted Board Sanjay Dastoor, was a bit of a delay – though there is a methodology that cities seem to appreciate. Skate was launched in March, and since then scooters have been deployed in Washington DC, Portland, Oregon, and San Francisco – Where she won one of the most desirable permits to work in the heart of the Silicon Valley. Another license to start a motorcycle in San Francisco went to Scoot, a company that also operates the city's shared bikes, As well as in Barcelona.
At the international level only, there are companies such as Grin-backed Y Combinator, Which raised $ 45.7 million in the first round in October To operate common electric bikes, in Latin America. Later that month, The company has been engaged with Sao Paulo ride To promote the company's expansion across Latin America, which has become a hotspot for motorcycles. in September, A yellow company has set up a $ 63 million A-Series tour to buy its shares in bicycles and scooters. In the meantime, Beard & Lame is targeting markets in the region.
Outside, motorcycles also appeared in Tel Aviv, London, Paris and 15 other cities across countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Portugal and others.
Soon the birds, lime and spin became known for their strategies of begging rather than asking permission first. The regulatory challenges of these electric scooter companies have varied in Santa Monica, San Francisco, Austin and other cities across the country.
In San Francisco, the municipal transport agency carried out a process of several months to determine which motorcycles would be allowed to operate in the city. The city permits came from birds, lemons and lemons yarn Unlicensed electric bikes were deployed in the city in March. As part of the new city law, which went into effect on June 4, scooter companies were unable to operate their services in San Francisco without a permit. Today, only Skip and Scoot are allowed to work in the city.
Santa Monica, Austin Many other cities have also received their fair share of regulatory hurdles. However, Lime has doubled the number of cities it operates in the United States more than doubled since June. At the same time, the number of cities in which motorcycles are used in the United States quickly An increase of only 33 in August For more than 90 at the time of publication.
Construction of durable scooters is difficult
Initially, many companies were not focused on building their own scooters. Instead, they cut stickers and logos on motorcycles that had existed for years. Lime, Bird and Spin were launched using scooters from Ninebot, a Chinese scooter company merged with Segway. Ninbot supports investors, including Sequoia Capital, Xiaomi and ShunWei.
The change began with the entrance of Scip, Which first appeared with heavy scooters in March. Since then, Scip has begun to launch new versions of its own scooters, with plans to make the ultimate custom scooters from the ground up.
Earlier this month, you can skip new skis using cameras and locks. The goal is to improve the economy of unity, which is difficult in this area. Investors, who have paid millions of dollars to small electric companies such as Beard and Lime, are injecting financing money because of the difficulty of working. Some scooters are said to last only two months, Which is not enough time to recover the cost of buying a scooter. Maybe that's why skip He reportedly received $ 100 million in debt earlier this month. But Scip refused to comment on Omar Scooter and debt financing.
in May, Lime partnership with Segway To launch the next generation of electric scooters. These Segway scooters are designed to become safer, longer lasting through battery power and more robust for the participating economy, said Tommy Sun, CEO of Lime, to TechCrunch earlier this year.
But this partnership is not without its problems. In October, lime Remember some scooters Due to fire battery concerns. next month, Place the lime $ 3 million towards a new safety initiative called "Respect Riding". Safety in general is a major concern. in September, Someone lost his life after a motorcycle accident.
Scott, who works with TelePod for the motorcycle industry, also had its problems. In November, Scoot's chief executive revealed that during the first two weeks of Scoot operations of joint electric scooters in San Francisco, More than 200 motorcycles were stolen or damaged irreparable. This is why this month, Scott unveiled a new locking mechanism Try to prevent theft.
Superpedestrian, recognizing that this is a hard work, Is putting his money on playing scooter business. The main display of Superpedestrian is a solid scooter with self-managing remote diagnostic capabilities. Superpedestrian says motorcycles can keep themselves from 9 to 18 months at a time, while other scooters often break down, the company says.
Superpedestrian scooters are equipped to diagnose problems involving components, motherboard, engine controller, land management system, batteries and more. In total, Superpedestrian can discover about 100 different things that may be wrong. Superpedestrian says that she already has a big player on board, although the CEO has not disclosed any one. However, the first publication will occur in the first quarter of 2019.
Unification is coming
There can be a lot of electric scooters on any given city street, which is due to the increasing city laws about these small mobility services. Even if cities do not have a limit to the number of scooter operators, there are not enough major differences between these services to obtain a large share of the market. Meanwhile, investors often put their bets on companies such as Bird and Gear, and with Lyft and Uber making their bikes, it would be difficult for other small companies to compete.
As we mentioned earlier, Ford bought an electric spin company for the scooter, and Uber has a partnership with Lime, and Uber as well It is said looks to buy either lime or bird. The bird, however, He said it was not for sale, Leaving the lime. If Lime is sold to Uber, Lyft may go after Scoot or Skip.
Obviously I can not say for the future, but I do not expect to see consolidation, additional market launches, scooter companies looking to improve their unit economy by relying more on custom-built scooters instead of relying on ready-made cars such as Segway And Xiaomi. .