The future of micromobility is Cairo, not Cupertino

This week, Lime is rumored to be looking to Softbank for its next funding round, self-driving scooters have arrived, and the record for largest bike parking garage goes to (shocker) the Netherlands, but first…

Double Feature

For micromobility, the foothold markets where kick scooters took off are just that, footholds. Long-term growth will be concentrated in the rapidly expanding megacities of the Global South, in places like São Paulo, Mumbai, and Manilla.

That’s the conclusion Horace Dediu draws in a new blog post, in which he argues that the fast-urbanizing markets of the developing world are a better fit for a low-end disruption like micromobility than the older, wealthier cities of Europe and North America:

The propensity of micromobility services to target only high income (to date) is probably due to the higher likelihood that wealthier consumers are willing to spend on this new service relative to poorer consumers. This was the same perception during the early years of consumer products over the last century. Appliances, entertainment technologies, personal computers and mobile phones followed this pattern.

Full article here.

In addition, Horace and Oliver Bruce went deep on assessing the market for micromobility in the developing world on a new episode of the podcast. Listen here.

Time Is Running Out ⏳

Consider this your 10-day warning.

The August Special, worth €240 off tickets to Micromobility Europe, is coming to an end on—you guessed it—September 1.

With those savings, you could buy your own e-scooter on Amazon and kiss your car payments goodbye.

Plus, for those who wish to bring a group, the price per person drops €100 for each ticket you purchase up to four between now and the end of the month.

With that money, you could buy a fleet of those bad boys on Amazon and start renting them, maybe via an app…


Buy your #MME tickets today before this deal expires.

New in Town?

No worries.

For those who don’t know about our Berlin event, here’s the rub: On October 1, we are bringing together hundreds of world-class policymakers, influencers, investors, and entrepreneurs, including execs from Lime, Bird, Tier, Voi, Jump, and Spin, for a series of in-depth conversations about the future of urban mobility.

From the president of Lime, Joe Kraus, addressing the startup’s journey to become the fast-growing mobility company in history, to an expert roundtable on what the advent of microautonmous means for cities, this summit is going to be vital for those who want to be ahead of the curve on the micromobility disruption.

Here is the agenda for the event, including—for the first time!—a full (if still slightly in flux) schedule of who speaks when. Check it out, then lock in your tickets while the prices are still low.

Auf wiedersehen for now.

What You Need to Know This Week

  • Lime is fundraising again and this time Softbank is said to be involved. The $2.4 billion startup could be seeking as much as $500 million, according to reports. | Business Insider

  • At Virginia Tech, Spin is loading up scooters with sensors to learn more about why crashes happen and how to prevent them. | Wired

  • Lime rentals are now available through the Uber app in Prague, Warsaw, and Stockholm, with integrations planned for more European cities soon. The scooter and bike company also revealed it is making progress on an integration with Google Maps in Germany. | Electrive

  • The Segway-Ninebot Group has unveiled a three-wheeled scooter that can return itself to charging stations without a driver. According to the Beijing-based company, Uber and Lyft have already expressed interest in the semi-autonomous scooter, which is expected to be “largely commercialized” by early 2020. | Engadget

  • Jump ebike rentals have been deployed in Mexico City. Related: earlier this month the Latin American provider Grow discontinued operations in Mexico’s capital over scooter thefts. | News Daily

  • Seattle has officially started the ball rolling on a scooter sharing program. | Curbed

  • Revel’s Vespa-style electric scooters have hit the road as part of a new moped sharing pilot in Washington, D.C. | The Verge

  • The world’s largest parking garage for bikes has opened in Utrecht. The cyclist’s paradise, which is a whole lot easier on the eyes than your typical multilevel car park, contains 12,500 spaces spread across three floors. | Guardian

  • The European car rental service Sixt is offering monthly leases for the latest model of Vässla. It is the first time the company has leased electric mopeds. | Vision Mobility

  • The rollout of a bike-share program in Southern California has been postponed due to supply chain problems caused by U.S. tariffs on Chinese products. Related: the operator of that delayed bike-share program, Gotcha, also halted e-scooter service in Atlanta this week, citing market saturation. | Del Mar Times

  • Taking advantage of India’s new incentives for EV makers, Hero Electric has introduced two new battery-powered mopeds. Three-wheeled vehicles, like rickshaws, currently dominate the market. | Business Today

  • … in fact, 60 million Indians use electric rickshaws every day. | NYT

  • Daimler’s innovation lab has announced a new scooter-sharing operation in Helsinki. For those keeping track at home, this is the second micromobility company the German automotive giant has launched in less than a year, the other being Hive. | Lab1886

  • According to a new study of Chicago, dockless scooters are more accessible than bike-sharing stations in the city’s low-income neighborhoods. “The study… found that more than 20% of e-scooters were in areas of very high economic hardship during most of the day, compared with less than 8% of Divvy bike stations in a 2017 DePaul study.” | Tribune

  • Lime is more than doubling the number of markets it serves in Germany, from 6 to 13. The expansion will include introducing service in the country’s largest urban area, Essen-Dusseldorf. | Electrive

  • Atlanta’s mayor is pledging to build temporary bike lanes in response to a spate of scooter fatalities this year. | Curbed

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