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"Great mind thinks alike. Creative minds think differently."
- Saba Karim

Micro-mobility: the rise of 'scooter commuters'​

Unless you've been living under a rock, you should have recently seen the upsurge of shared e-scooter and bicycles companies. This new mode of transportation is being classified at Micro-Mobility, or sometimes Urban Mobility. Specifically, Pitchbook, where all of the data in the following summary comes from, defines Micro-Mobility as:

Transportation solutions that target the "last mile" problem, whereby users have difficulty getting from their starting destination to a major transportation hub such as bus or railway station. Distances covered by these solutions typically averages less than six miles, with bicycles and scooters being the most prevalent form of transportation.

There are currently 87 companies, with 240 deals done by 431 investors, with the largest deal being $2.7B by Grab - a provider of an on-demand ride-hailing platform in Southeast Asia, that runs the micro-mobility brand Anywheel and Popscoot.

Over $10B has been invested in this space to date.

Not surprisingly, there have also already been 16 exits, including acquisitions by some of the biggest players in the ride-sharing, Uber and LyftEuropcar - the French rental company, and Ford – the first automaker corporation to enter the scooter world... and you know, also the first automaker in the world ever.

Investments Over Time

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(Source: Pitchbook, November 2018)

Yep, 2018 was definitely the year of the electric, two-wheeled, phenomenon that anyone over the age 15 (legally 18 in some cities) can ride.


Company Count Breakdown by Continent

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(Source: Pitchbook, November 2018)

  1. Europe, 39 companies

  2. North America, 31 companies

  3. Asia, 26 companies


Company Count Breakdown within USA

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(Source: Pitchbook, November 2018)

  1. California, 13 companies

  2. New York, 5 companies

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Fun fact: Scoot is the original shared electric scooter company. Started in 2012 in San Francisco

VC Global Bike-sharing and Scooter Investment

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(Source: Pitchbook, August 2018)


Case Study: Bird

(Multiple sources as of Sep-Nov 2018)

  • 🚀 Launched in September 2017

  • 🌆 Operates in over 100 cities

  • 🛴 Two million unique riders

  • ✅ 10 million rides completed

  • 👩‍💻780 employees

  • 🧠 TIME's Top 50 Genius Companies, 2018

  • 📈 2.87% weekly growth

  • 💰 $418M raised to date (First seed round was $3M in June 2017 at $18M post)

  • 🦄 Valuation = $2B (Fastest company to ever reach unicorn valuation)


It's no surprise heads are turning, on the street, and in VC world. They've definitely got my attention, and I think they are here to stay.

"Lime and Bird could become the Ford and Chevrolet of the 21st century"

"Since the start of 2017, VC investors have poured more than $6.3 billion into bike-rental and scooter-rental startups, creating a new herd of unicorns in the process. Now, larger and more powerful companies are taking notice. They're betting that cities like Ghent will be the model for the 21st century—that the pollution and traffic of the car is on its way out in major metropolitan centers around the globe, and that the era of shared transportation is here. It's not a sure bet. Obstacles still stand in their way. But if it pays off, names like Lime and Bird could become the Ford and Chevrolet of the 21st Century." – Kevin Dowd, Editor at Pitchbook.

Share your thoughts below! Would love to hear your views on whether es-scooters and e-bikes are cool, or if they're just a very fast passing fad... with a kickstart.

• • •

My only question is, where do I pick up an "e-Rickshaw?". You know, the classic 'urban mobility' vehicles of Asia and the subcontinent. Surely, they're next in line to get the 21st century makeover? One third the size of a normal car, just a swiftly as a scooter, but obnoxiously loud so no one can complain they didn't hear you coming.

Before you rush to GoDaddy to buy the domain. I already tried. The domain is owned by Rick. Rick Shaw. Better luck next time!

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