The West Coast seems to be all pumped up with electric scooters flooding the sidewalks of America. The company behind this, Bird, launched in the affluent beach-city of Santa Monica with its product suddenly found everywhere. Although nobody expected the company to launch the way they did, Bird became one of the most successful start-ups in history. According to CrunchBase, the company has raised more than $400 million and has sought valuations approaching $2 billion.
The company, which is based in California, has stumped officials in as it rolls out thousands of scooters in several cities across the country, by scattering them on public sidewalks earning both accolades and brickbats from residents. This strategy is similar to the time Uber fought to flood the US market and became extremely popular with consumers.
Besides, Bird, the other popular start-up, Lime, whose white and green scooters were found in Los-Angeles, is also a direct competitor alongside San Francisco based Spin.
It is said that in May, Bird raised $150 million at a $1 billion valuation. This rocketed higher because of investor interest, according to news reports. Investors in Silicon Valley are eager to pool in money in transportation opportunities after the success if companies like Uber. Since Bird, Lime and Spin burst into the scene, investors are interested in e-scooter companies.
Easy-to-use electric scooters
It also helps that using these public e-scooters is easy as a breeze. With the Bird app, consumers can find electric scooters to ride, for a per-minute fee and drop them where their trip ends. Scooter chargers rove the streets to pick them up and recharge them and collect cash in doing so. These companies are betting on the fact that consumers become so interested in them that it’s difficult to ban them and hence authorities have to negotiate rules.
Why are these scooters becoming popular?
- Dockless scooters can be ridden standing up and can be rented by anyone with a smartphone.
- It takes just a few minutes to sign up and costs a dollar to unlock and an additional 15 cents per minute.
- The scooters can attain speeds up to 17 miles per hour — well over the average speed of a cyclist.
- People can make more money as “chargers,”, you get up to for charging these scooters in home outlets.
Scooters galore violating laws
These scooters work like public companies which help you share bikes. However local residents are finding it extremely discomforting since they witness chaotic scenes along sidewalks with riders crashing into pedestrians. Many violate laws without wearing helmets and even riding on the sidewalks which is prohibited according to state law.
Scooter startups with their blitzkrieg tactics are arriving without warning! Santa Monica, in fact, filed criminal charges against Bird for violating regulations and the company had to pay $3,00,000 in fines. However, many cities have started allowing them to operate by figuring out deals.
Scooter Startups – the next Uber
Scooter startups are able to strike gold because unlike Uber, they’re filling a huge niche. There is no existing scooter industry to block out new competition. The backlash is more than the just public safety and leaving scooters anywhere and everywhere is a feature for these companies, causing a legitimate issue for residents.
According to an interview in April, the founder of the Bird, Vander Zanden says he sees his electric scooters becoming dominant in solving city transport solutions and would be happy to see more scooters than cars.
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