Vogo, which provides services in the southern Indian cities of Bengaluru and Hyderabad, will use the money to expand its fleet by 100,000 scooters. It did not disclose how many scooters it currently has but said that more than 100,000 users have commuted for over 20 million kilometers using its two-wheelers.
In the earliest days of the new scooter sharing wave, when a new, Uber veteran-run company called Bird showed in southern California, working in the industry felt a bit like stumbling into the O.K. Corral. High school students scrapped for their chance to charge or fix scooters for between $10 and $20 a pop. "Mechanics" broke handlebars and wheels en masse, so they would be paid to patch them up. "Chargers" hid scooters in their garages until their owners ratcheted up the bounties awarded to catch the strays--then cashed in. Now startup Spin is taking a different approach to scooter operations, at least in Los Angeles: Instead of contract workers, it's hiring employees to collect, charge, fix, and redeploy its scooters every day.
Turns out those rumours about Ford buying e-scooter startup Spin were true. The auto-maker has confirmed the purchase as it looks beyond car ownership to emerging modes of transport. Though it didn't disclose the financials behind the deal, sources previously told Axios that the agreement was around the $40 million mark. Spin -- which started as a dockless bike-sharing company before applying the same model to e-scooters -- currently operates in 13 cities and campuses across the US, said Ford (it's still locked out of San Francisco, however). The startup charges $1 to rent a scooter and 15 cents per minute thereafter to use it.
Shortly after two startups dropped hundreds of scooters on the streets of Denver without permission in May, frustrated city officials responded swiftly with vehicles of their own. A platoon of workers in vans and pickups scooped up more than 300 of the scooters and impounded them. As shared-scooter companies Bird Rides Inc. and Lime, flush with investors' cash, race into new cities around the U.S., they are finding city officials emboldened to enact regulations that limit the companies' rapid growth. Urban authorities from Miami to Portland, Ore., are capping their numbers at a few hundred per company, or in some cases blocking the deployment altogether. This could prove a big challenge for Bird and Lime, which have drawn nearly $900 million of investment between them with ambitions of launching thousands or tens of thousands of scooters on the streets of hundreds of U.S. cities.
Razor, which still makes scooters as well as other personal transportation devices, has big ambitions for entering the rental business. Executives say they can get better-quality scooters designed for heavy use at a lower cost than rivals by leveraging its manufacturing relationships in China. Razor executives say they were spurred to enter the rental business recently after realizing that the company was neither making the scooters that rivals were renting out, nor offering their own rental option. Carlton Calvin, Razor's co-founder and chief executive, recalls going to check out the scooter boom last fall when Bird Rides Inc. sprinkled its rental scooters around the beach-lined streets of Santa Monica, Calif. "I went over there and I just couldn't believe my eyes," Mr. Calvin said.