Tier Mobility acquires Coup’s electric moped scooters

Tier Mobility operates a scooter service, the kick-scooter-with-a-motor kind. And it has acquired assets from Coup, a now defunct scooter service, the moped kind. Coup shut down late last year, and Tier Mobility plans to take over and start its own shared moped service.

To be clear, Coup is over but its mopeds will stick around. As part of the deal, Tier Mobility now has around 5,000 mopeds and a charging infrastructure. It plans to launch its own moped service in Berlin in May. Both the scooter and moped services will be accessible from the main Tier app.

Coup had a partnership with Gogoro, a Taiwanese electric vehicle company. You can expect to be able to access the same mopeds but with a fresh coat of paint.

“We have gained valuable experience with e-scooters and can now use this effectively in the field of e-mopeds. Many customers want a slightly faster vehicle for medium distances of 4 to 10 kilometres. Now we can now offer these people a very good deal with high-quality vehicles,” Tier Mobility co-founder and CEO Lawrence Leuschner said in a statement.

Before shutting down, Coup was operating in Berlin, Paris and Madrid. It’s unclear whether Tier Mobility wants to launch a moped service in those cities as well.

Tier Mobility currently operates in 55 cities across 11 countries. It is currently focused on Europe. The company is based in Berlin.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Tier Mobility charges its customers for the moped service. Unit economics have been the main issue with Coup.

“Even though Coup is a well-known brand in this market with a loyal customer base that regularly uses our services, operating Coup in the long term has become economically unsustainable,” Coup said when it shut down.

Coup shuts down its electric moped scooter service

Coup, an electric moped scooter-sharing service that operates in Berlin, Paris and Berlin, has announced in an email that it is going to shut down in all three cities. On Twitter, the company says that operating the service is “economically unsustainable” in the long term.

“We plan to discontinue our service in Berlin and Tübingen in by the middle of December 2019. It is also planned to close the COUP locations in Paris and Madrid,” the company says in its email announcement. The service still operates normally for now.

Coup also says that users who topped up their accounts with prepaid packages will get reimbursed when the service eventually shuts down.

“Even though Coup is a well-known brand in this market with a loyal customer base that regularly uses our services, operating Coup in the long term has become economically unsustainable,” Coup told a user on Twitter in French.

Coup is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bosch. It operates a service with hundreds of Gogoro scooters that you can book and ride with the Coup app. Just like other free-floating micro-mobility services, you could unlock a moped scooter somewhere and leave it somewhere else as long as you remain in the operating area.

Coup competes with Cityscoot in Paris. The French startup operates a similar service and has recently announced a partnership with Uber.

We have reached out to the company and will update this article if we hear back. Here’s the full email from Coup:

Dear COUP customer,

We have some sad news for you. We plan to discontinue our service in Berlin and Tübingen in by the middle of December 2019. It is also planned to close the COUP locations in Paris and Madrid.

We deeply regret this. Over the past three years, you and all the other COUP customers have remained loyal to us. We are proud to have been able to establish such a strong community in such a short period of time. Thank you for your loyalty, and thank you for using our service.

You can continue to use COUP in the usual way until the service is discontinued. In a separate e-mail, we will let you know when exactly this will happen. Until then, nothing will change in your contractual relationship with COUP.

If you have incurred costs for prepaid packages that have not been used up, they will of course be reimbursed. You can also continue using up your freerides until the service is discontinued.

Our customer support team will also remain open for telephone and e-mail inquiries.

Known for its electric scooters, Gogoro moves toward its future as a mobility platform

Since the launch of its first electric scooter in 2015, Gogoro co-founder and CEO Horace Luke has frequently been asked when the startup is going to expand beyond Taiwan. In its home country, Gogoro’s two-wheel vehicles, with their distinctive swappable battery system, are now the top-selling electric scooters.

But Luke says the company has always seen itself as a platform company, with the ultimate goal of providing a turnkey solution for energy-efficient vehicles. Now with the launch of GoShare*, its new vehicle-sharing platform, and partnerships with manufacturers such as Yamaha, Gogoro is ready to go global.

Founded by Luke, HTC’s former chief innovation officer, and chief technology officer Matt Taylor in 2011, Gogoro develops most of its technology in-house, including scooter motors, telematics units, backend servers and software. GoShare’s pilot program will launch next month in Taoyuan City, where Gogoro’s research and development center is located, with the goal of expanding with partners into cities around the world over the next year, starting in Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

“Gogoro has always been out with a thesis that we will be a platform enabler,” Luke told Extra Crunch during an interview in the company’s Taipei City headquarters. “Now you’ve seen the transformation of the company. Doing something this big, like what Gogoro is doing, takes time.”

Since the release of Gogoro’s first Smartscooter in 2015, the company says it has become the best-selling brand of electric two-wheel vehicles in Taiwan, holding a 17 percent share of the country’s vehicle market, including gas vehicles.

Last year, the company began licensing its technology to manufacturers Yamaha, Aeon and PGO to produce scooters that run on Gogoro’s batteries and charging infrastructure. It also has a partnership with Coup, the European electric-scooter sharing startup that plans to increase its fleet to more than 5,000 scooters on the streets of Paris, Berlin, Madrid and Tübingen this year, and is seeking similar deals with other vehicle-sharing services, as well as local governments that want to reduce traffic and pollution (the GoShare pilot program is being launched in collaboration with Taoyuan City’s government).

GoShare’s platform is meant to be a “very robust and cost-effective, very worry-free solution for municipalities and entrepreneurs,” Luke says. Parts of the system can be licensed separately or packaged as a turnkey solution that can be deployed in as little as two weeks.

The company describes GoShare as a “mobility solution.” When asked if this means the platform can be used for other electric vehicles, including cars, Luke says “just think of us as batteries and a motor.”

“It’s just like computers and processing ram,” he adds. “It can be any form factor. It just happens to be that the two-wheel form factor is the one we’re working on and focusing on at the moment.”

Paris to tax scooter and bike services

According to the City of Paris, there are 15,000 free-floating vehicles of all forms and shapes in the city, from electric scooters to fluorescent bikes and motorcycle-like scooters. And the City of Paris announced today that companies that operate free-floating services will have to pay a tax depending on the size of their fleet.

If the plan goes through and if you’re running a bike-sharing service, you’ll have to pay €20 per bike per year. For scooter companies, they’ll pay €50 per scooter per year. Motorcycle scooters will be taxed €60 per scooter per year.

According to Le Parisien, it will be a tier system. Every time you go over the basic tier, you’ll have to pay more. Companies will pay 10 percent more for vehicle #500 to vehicle #999, 20 percent more for vehicle #1,000 to vehicle #2,999, and 30 percent more for any vehicle after #3,000.

Paris is a tiny city — it’s smaller than San Francisco when it comes to geographical footprint. And it’s also impossible to park a car and drive in Paris. That’s why a vast majority of people who live in Paris don’t own a car. It’s simply much faster and cheaper to use the subway or other transportation methods.

That’s why bikes, scooters and motorcycle scooters are thriving. Having less cars on the road is a great thing, but it has created some unexpected challenges.

Bike-sharing services thrived when the city’s bike-sharing system was more or less useless during a network upgrade. GoBee Bike, oBike, Ofo and Mobike all launched their services in the streets of Paris. But they’ve all failed. GoBee Bike shut down, Ofo still has a few bikes but no team, Mobike is scaling back international operations…

That was a bad start for free-floating services as many broken bikes are littering the streets of Paris. The dock-based bike-sharing system Vélib is now working fine with over 1,200 stations and tens of thousands of rides per day — you basically see them everywhere.

On the scooter front, there are now nine different companies operating in Paris. Yes, you read that number correctly. They all have funny sounding names too — Lime, Bird, Bolt, Wind, Tier, Voi, Flash, Hive and Dott.

They’re quite popular because there are a ton of bike lanes in Paris. Most people still don’t wear helmets and there are a lot of injuries — but that’s another issue.

Like many other cities, many people complain about scooters crowding the sidewalk. If you’re in a wheelchair, pushing a stroller or if you’re visually impaired, navigating the sidewalk can be difficult these days.

The City of Paris wants to make those companies accountable. They need to take care of their fleets in order to maximize the number of scooters that actually work and remove the broken scooters. And I’m sure there will be some consolidation and bankruptcies in the space.

When it comes to motorcycle scooters, Cityscoot and Coup have been putting more scooters on the road. There’s no reason they would be excluded from the tax. Sometimes, they are cluttering bike parking space for instance:

Let’s see if that strategy works to avoid a dumping strategy. Free-floating services have a huge impact on the environment. Scooters only last a few weeks before they need to be replaced. The solution isn’t to throw more scooters at the problem.

Cityscoot raises $50 million for its European electric scooter service

 French startup Cityscoot announced a $50 million round of financing yesterday (€40 million). RATP Capital Innovation and Inventure Partners are leading the round, with existing investors Caisse des Dépôts and LeasePlan also participating. Cityscoot operates an electric scooter-sharing service in Paris and plans to expand to other cities in France and Europe. You can now find around… Read More