Movements | January 18th, 2021

Issue [#111]  -  Brought to you by Michal Naka and Adam Feldman. Join thousands of others who receive this analysis and curation of emerging mobility news in their inbox every week — subscribe now.

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EVs Squeezing EBikes

There were a couple of great twitter threads poking at the ongoing pain felt in the micromobility supply chain. Prabin Joel Jones shares how eBike battery pack manufacturers are suffering longer lead times on battery cells due to demand and priority given to EV carmakers. Steve Anderson suggests the cost of micromobility battery packs are around 2X the automotive price. Battery cell manufacturers are giving priority to buyers with large volume orders and those are car companies as they shift to electric drivetrains (A Tesla with 100kwh battery pack is the equivalent of 100 ebikes). With the intense fragmentation in the eBike and micromobility hardware space, there are very few companies with economies of scale who can command favorable prices or priority from cell manufacturers. It’s a double whammy for smaller hardware startups with little cash and small order volumes. Maybe this could change with someone like Apple or even an OEM like Ford entering the micromobility hardware category. (Or an eBike startup who can raise a boatload of cash in a SPAC.)

Fundraising & Deals

P2P carshare company Turo plans to ride the tech IPO wave in 2021 after turning its first profitable (‘EBITDA’) quarter ever in 2020. | WSJ ($)

Grab ridehailinng and delivery service subsidiary Grab Financial, raised a $300 million Series A. | TechCrunch

The Routing Company, an MIT startup raised a $5 million seed round to bring its dynamic shared rides routing and fleet management software to transit agencies and cities. | Biz Wire

Snap acquires StreetCred, the decentralized location data platform. | TechCrunch

Weezy, an on-demand supermarket that delivers within 15 minutes, raises a $20m Series A. | TechCrunch


Superpedestrian raised $60 million to close out 2020. The company’s scooter sharing brand “Link” has been awarded 12 city contracts globally after pivoting efforts to sell their vehicle technology to other operators. | WSJ ($)

The original king of scooter hardware, Segway-Ninebot, unveiled its first shared eBike last month. It features a fairly standard feature set for sharing operators, but one point to note is its interoperable battery that is compatible with Segway’s commercial scooter models. | Segway

Is Tier really worth $1 billion? A nice dive into the economics and business models of European scooter operators. Tier’s latest valuation was at $1billion on $70 million in projected revenue for 2020. The article also notes how the business has shifted from B2C to B2B2C, as city governments are the ultimate gatekeepers. For shared scooter companies, R&D spend is now geared towards how you differentiate yourself in government permit applications and tenders. | Sifted

Puneeth Meruva from Trucks VC put together a highly informative blog and presentation outlining the future of micromobility distribution, supplychain, and maintenance. Puneeth interviewed a variety of key players on the cutting edge of micromobility hardware including Sanjay Dastor from Skip/Boosted, Nick Foley from Jump, and Ties Carlier from VanMoof. | Trucks VC

Product Updates

Location software startup Fantasmo inks a deal with Tier to rollout its “Camera Positioning System” that helps operators and cities with micromobility parking compliance. Fantasmo uses a vision based mapping solution to achieve higher location accuracy than traditional GPS. Tier plans to rollout the technology in Paris in the coming months. Check out the demo video here. | Cities Today

An excellent take on how the world is changing around Google Maps and its developer platform. OpenStreetMap is picking up speed with the support of every other major technology company, and a lot of the datasets that make Google Maps so special are increasingly available from competitors. | Joe Morrison

Amazon’s AWS launched a suite of services and datasets for location awareness. | AWS

GM is launching a new business unit, BrightDrop, to electrify last-mile logistics. Their first customer is FedEx. | Axios

Cities & Policy

Podcast interview with Lime’s Head of Policy Katie Stevens. | UrbanTech

Noam Bardin, CEO of Waze, writes about how car-pooling can fix urban transportation systems. | Wired

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