In just 6 months, we’ve moved on from cryptopalooza to scooterpalooza. As good of a topic as any to come out of a long hiatus from this blog, at least for now.
The first thing to understand is that the potential of micro-mobility platforms (incl eBike startups) depends on two related factors: 1) Value created by mainstream adoption of micro-mobility solutions, and 2) Share of this value captured by micro-mobility and scooters sharing platforms. Mainstream adoption is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for scooter sharing startups to capture value.
Barriers to mainstream adoption are largely come down to social acceptance and regulations. Social acceptance is less of a problem given that every scooter user acts as social proof for the next one and so on. Regulations are more challenging, as mainstream adoption of scooters requires easy availability, and hence significant volume. But availability of parking space is less certain because these are “net new” assets on city streets, at least in the near-term. This is very different situation from ridesharing, where net increase in supply early on did not necessarily lead to a proportional increase in traffic. But for the purposes of this post, let’s ignore this problem and assume mainstream adoption will not be a challenge.
In this scenario, VC arguments for scooter investments boil down to three factors:
- Strong unit economics, at least with early adopters
- Used very frequently
- Occupies coveted smartphone home screen real estate
Go to http://www.tech-thoughts.net/ for more analysis on the mobile industry
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