E Scooters and their Increasing Popularity

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Electric scooters are being hailed as the new-age transportation because the urban areas are getting densely populated making other sources of transportation impossible. Surprisingly these electric scooters or e-scooters as popularly known can cost less than $2 per ride and numerous big investors are lining up to invest their money into various scooter brands.

Recently, VOI Technology, an e-scooter startup headquartered in Sweden has been able to raise $50 Mn in Series A funding from London-based venture capital firm Balderton Capital, alongside Raine Ventures, LocalGlobe and previous VOI funder Vostok New Ventures. VOI has pitched itself as a way to simplify traffic-clogged in city centers and decrease pollution and easing traffic navigation alongside VOI’s scooters offering include a “clean, competent, cost-effective and zero emission” first-and-last-mile substitute to cars and taxis. Once a user downloads the VOI app, they have to locate a nearby scooter on the street or via the map being provided in the app, and the user has to push the ‘ride’ button, scan the VOI QR code, and derive wherever they want in the city.

The company takes a fee of €1 for unlocking the vehicle, and a ride costs €0.15 per minute.

VOI claims to have acquired 120,000 users in just 12 weeks, who have engaged in 200,000 rides, traveling 350,000 kilometers. And this has constituted to VOI becoming Europe’s leading e-scooter sharing company.

However, this last month also saw Berlin’s Tier raised €25 Mn in Series A funding led by Northzone, in a new attempt to make like the household names “Bird or Lime of Europe,” despite if it is far from clear that Bird or Lime will not take that title for themselves. Additionally, two months ago Taxify also announced its goal to do e-scooter rentals under the brand Bolt, first started in Paris but also preparing to be available pan-European.

So one can ask the question of how prevalent are e-scooters? Bird started by a former executive of Lyft and Uber, maneuvers e-scooter services in about 40 U.S. cities, while Lime is available in 23 cities. Bird started the unique trend in late 2017 with its launch in Santa Monica, California, and suddenly it seemed e-scooters were all over the place. Although there are drawbacks like scores of unattended vehicles on city sidewalks, have led to the consequence of pushback from people complaining of public confusion, and some cities have started to cap the number of scooters they will permit. But in most U.S. cities with sharing services, the number of motorcycles barely surpasses 1,000. By contrast, 45,000 Uber and Lyft drivers worked in San Francisco in 2017, according to the city’s attorney.