Neuron Mobility, a Singapore-based e-scooter rental startup, today announced that it has added $ 12 million to the Series A. Led by Square Peg, an Australian venture capital firm and GSR Ventures, this raises the total new spin to $ 30.5 million. . The company, with operations in Australia and New Zealand in addition to the Southeast Asian market, first announced its Series A in December 2019.
Part of Neuron Mobility growth plans depend on increased adoption of electric scooters and bicycles during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people use their car less often because they work remotely or there are restrictions on movement where they live. When they go out, electric bikes and scooters offer an alternative to public transportation and ride services for short trips.
Neuron Mobility chief executive Zachary Wang said the company is upgrading its Series A + rather than moving to Series B as more cities “open up micromobility possibilities, especially e-scooter rentals as they present individual transportation options that take the pressure off public transportation and allow people to continue social distancing. . “
“We have experienced tremendous growth at ANZ and the pandemic has made us accelerate our plans,” he added.
Although Neuron Mobility does not currently operate in any other Southeast Asian country apart from Singapore, Wang said they are “constantly evaluating opportunities across the Asia Pacific”.
The new funding will be used to accelerate Neuron Mobility’s expansion plans in Australia and New Zealand, where it claims to be the leading electric scooter rental operator. The company is currently present in nine locations, including Auckland, New Zealand and the Australian cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Canberra and Townsville. Neuron Mobility plans to expand to five new cities over the next 12 months and part of that involves recruiting 400 more people in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Apart from Asia-Pacific, Neuron Mobility will also be launched in Slough, its first location in the UK, later this year.
The Neuron Mobility study found that prior to Australia’s COVID-19 lockdown, one in five users had never used an e-scooter before. But now Australian and New Zealand users have increased their average e-scooter travel distance by 23% to 2.6 kilometers, with the average trip duration increasing by 10% to over 14 minutes. Neuron Mobility pricing is meant to be affordable depending on different markets. For example, in Brisbane, a user pays one Australian dollar (about 68 US cents) to start a trip and then 38 Australian cents for every minute of travel. The e-scooter can travel at a speed of about 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) per hour.
Other “micro mobility” companies, including Ofo, Reddy Go, Obike and Lime, have also offered rental services in Australia and New Zealand, but have run into problems. The bike-sharing startup of Ofo, Reddy Go, and Obike withdrew from Australia partly because city councils were frustrated by bicycles left on sidewalks and in parks. Lime still operates in Australian cities, but in June, the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission found that the company failed to raise safety concerns with its Generation 2 scooters (in response, Lime said it would implement new compliance procedures and upgrade to its new Generation 3 scooters).
Wang said Neuron Mobility avoided those problems by strategically planning which cities to launch, instead of focusing on rapid expansion, partnering with city councils and “continuing to shift and adapt to meet their needs.” Some of the Neuron Mobility features, including geofencing to control where and how fast the e-scooter can be ridden, and “Helmet Lock” to make the helmet available to all scooters, were developed after discussions with the city council. The Neuron Mobility scooters, designed by the company specifically for hire, also use interchangeable batteries to reduce pollution.
After launching in Singapore, Neuron Mobility decided to focus on Australia and New Zealand because “both countries have cities that are particularly well-suited for micromobility in terms of infrastructure and regulation,” said Wang. City councils are also “eager to push the boundaries of what can be done with technology to make programs better and safer and one that really fits our way of thinking”.
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