Startups

The Sharing Economy Scoots Into 2018

In the past several weeks, electric scooters have popped up on the sidewalks of San Francisco, adding yet another vehicle sharing platform to the mix of dockless bikes that have received mixed reviews from urban dwellers.

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It’s easy to get confused by all the options. So Crunchbase News decided to take a look at the veteran and emerging players in the global scooter and moped sharing sector.

Adults On Scooters, It’s Cool

For commuters reliant on public transportation, commuting from a local train or metro station to your final destination usually involves a long walk. To solve this “last mile” problem, U.S.-based scooter company Bird and its fellow competitors are looking to provide urban dwellers with a fast, simple, and cheap transportation solution.

Bird, based in Los Angeles, has hit the streets of many cities in the U.S. including San Diego and San Francisco. The startup’s scooters can be seen perched outside of office buildings (including our own). The company made headlines in March after raising a $100 million Series B from Index Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, and others betting on scooters. The round brought the startups valuation up to $300 million.

Dockless bike sharing veterans Limebike and Spin, which have raised known totals of $132 million and $8 million respectively, have also jumped into the space. Limebike debuted its scooters in Seattle in February and has moved into D.C. and California. Spin unveiled its dockless vehicles in February as well.

Scooter sharing companies have also popped up outside of the U.S. Singapore is home to Popscoot, a partner with GrabCycle, a subsidiary project under the Singapore-based ride sharing company Grab. Telepod and Neuron, which were founded in 2016 and 2017, have come up with their own station-based scooter sharing programs as well.

Outside of Southeast Asia, a sharing company called InnoMake, which reportedly operates in parks and on campuses in Hangzhou, China, has also made local headlines. In Europe, France-based Knot, founded in 2015, raised a $60,000 Seed round in June 2016 for its station-based, non-electric kick scooter sharing system. The company told Crunchbase News that it has registered about 20,000 rides since August. Knot operates in Paris, Strasbourg, and Colmar, and is opening in Germany too with B2B and B2G partnerships.

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Despite movement in the space, standing scooter startups aren’t the only sharing companies getting global attention.

The 6 Kilometer Commuters

Vespa-like mopeds are widely popular in Europe and Asia. Unlike their sharing economy counterparts mentioned above, these companies intend to give urban dwellers that live too far to ride a bike, but too close to drive a car, a viable, eco-friendly commuting option. According to Crunchbase data, the space has raised a known total of more than $78.9 million since 2011.

Most recently, Paris-based Cityscoot scored a $50 million Series B from RATP Capital Innovation and Inventure Partners in February 2018, adding to the $18 million in funding it raised in 2016. According to TechCrunch, the company has plans to spread its product globally, operating a fleet of 5,000 by the end of 2018.

If you’re based in San Francisco, you’ve definitely spotted a red Scoot during your commute to work. The California-based startup was founded in 2011 and was dubbed the “Zipcar of scooters” when it first launched its product. Since then, the company has raised a known total of more than $4.5 million, with plans to expand Scoot Network’s back end technology abroad.

While Scoot Networks and CityScoot have managed to raise capital, other similar startups were not as fortunate. Hamburg-based Jaano reportedly terminated its services two years later after failing to find funding. Similarly, Paris-based Mober ceased its operations after two years because of lack of venture funding.

Despite these failures, startups from Barcelona to Taipei are still betting that they can win out in the space. Crunchbase News compiled a list of those startups still in the game below:

iStockPhoto / Melody A

Editorial Note: A previous version of this article stated that Knot was not operational, the information has since been updated. 

Editorial Note: The chart has been updated to reflect that CityScoot’s headquarters are Paris, France.