Revel founder Frank Reig a year later on driving EV adoption in big cities

Almost exactly a year ago, we interviewed Revel founder and CEO Frank Reig when it was on the cusp of expanding into multiple business lines beyond its original scope of providing shared electric mopeds. Today, we’re taking a second look to see how far the startup has come, and the distance it has to cover to achieve its stated goal of helping urban cities transition to electric transport.

Revel started its moped business in New York in 2018, and it has since expanded into Miami, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. But if you just heard about the startup for the first time today, you might not even think of it as a moped sharing company. Over the past year, Revel has pivoted sharply toward building fast-charging hubs for electric vehicles, launching its first “Superhub”in NYC last June.

Along the way, the company also started (and quietly shut down) an e-bike subscription service, and launched an all-electric ride-hailing service in NYC.

Reig recently told me the company is aiming to build 200 fast-charging stalls in NYC by the end of this year, “and we’re shooting for hundreds more in 2023 on top of that.” Revel’s ride-hailing business, which currently has 50 Teslas driving around Manhattan, will also expand alongside the EV charging infrastructure, he said.

“The way we think about stations is at scale. Revel’s not interested in the one charger at a Walgreens. That doesn’t do anything for the city, and it doesn’t accelerate any transition. The only way to drive EV adoption in cities is with a real network of infrastructure, which does not exist right now. Until a company like Revel builds it all, this EV transition is just a lot of marketing and talk.”

We sat down with Reig to talk about Revel’s business, the company’s recent funding from Blackrock, the need to work grid stability into its business model, and how the company thinks about profitability.

This interview, part of an ongoing series with founders who are building transportation companies, has been edited for length and clarity.

TC: It’s been a year since our interview, and Revel feels like a different company now! Back then, moped sharing was your main business, but now the focus is on EV charging infrastructure. Do you still have plans to expand your moped business?

Frank Reig: We have 6,000 mopeds across four markets, so it’s a sizable business that generates a sizable amount of revenue. At this point, we’re sort of waiting for COVID to be over officially until we really start to think about expanding our micromobility footprint.

That said, some of the mopeds in our fleet are three, four years old. So we’re starting to think about the next moped technology we want to use. How do we want to think about reinvesting in our markets, in our fleets?

TC: You recently closed a $126 million Series B round led by Blackrock, and a lot of that’s going into your EV charging hubs. I believe you said you’re going to build another one in New York?

Reig: We’re building many more in New York.

Everybody keeps talking about the EV transition. Everyone keeps talking about how auto OEMs are saying they’re never going to produce another gas vehicle again. They’re falling over themselves to outdo one another. No one’s talking about where all these vehicles are going to charge. That story has not changed from last year. If anything, it’s gotten worse. Infrastructure is just so lacking, especially in some of these big cities like New York.

New York state passed a law that said all vehicles sold after 2035 will have to be electric, and 20% of new vehicles sold will have to be electric by 2025. We literally have millions of vehicles that need to transition to electric, and there’s really no charging in sight, which is where our strategy comes into play.

Berlin’s GetHenry breaks into last-mile delivery e-bike scene with $17.4M seed

Berlin-based GetHenry, a startup that provides electric last-mile delivery bikes to couriers and logistics companies, has raised a $17.4 million (€16.5 million) seed round to expand its business across Europe. The startup currently operates in Germany, Austria, Italy and France, but plans to use its latest funding to move into Spain, the Netherlands and the UK over the next two quarters, according to a GetHenry spokesperson.

GetHenry, which supplies e-bike fleets to enterprise customers like Gorillas, Flink and, is coming to market at a time when on-demand grocery, food and convenience store delivery is becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, more traditional logistics companies are getting wise to the fact that an army of electric bikes is an efficient way to address emissions and reach corporate climate goals, particularly for last-mile.

A range of electric utility bike companies, like Zoomo, Ubco and Joco, are sprouting up to address these coinciding trends with what is becoming a classic combination of fleets for larger companies and weekly or monthly subscriptions for couriers.

“We’ve seen in the last 12 months just how important providing sustainable last-mile delivery solutions has become,” said Luis Orsini-Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO of GetHenry, in a statement. “While logistics companies struggle to meet the ever-increasing demand for ever-faster deliveries, GetHenry is here to provide a quality fleet of electric utility vehicles that can cater for the current climate. We allow delivery companies to get on with what they do best – delivering – by providing round-the-clock maintenance and service, with up-to-the-minute data on the status of their delivery vehicles at their fingertips to ensure peace of mind.”

Man services GetHenry e-bike

GetHenry provides fleet and courier customers with on-demand maintenance.

Like some of its competitors, GetHenry’s subscriptions and service include everything from the production of vehicles and finance of high end e-bikes to on-demand maintenance and fleet management software services. GetHenry’s subscription product, which averages out at around €100 per month ($105) depending on the country, is on par with the costs from competitors. Zoomo, for example, charges anywhere form $20 to $35 per week for its gig worker subscriptions in the U.S.

GetHenry’s bikes, which are German-engineered and manufactured in partnership with a French e-bike manufacturer, are built to handle the 80 kilometers per day that delivery couriers tend to travel, accounting for any additional weight for parcels, according to the company.

“We decided to manufacture our own bike because there was no e-bike on the market for the grocery delivery use case at the time, and we wanted to build the best bike for these customers,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch. “In manufacturing our own e-bike, we also have full control over costs and supply chain.”

GetHenry also plans to use the fresh capital to diversify its product portfolio, with plans to develop and deploy cargo bikes and electric mopeds in the near future.

The funding round, a combination of €10 million equity and €6.5 million debt, was led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Visionaries Club, Founder Collective, EnBW New Ventures, GreenPoint Partners, SpeedUp Ventures and Third Sphere. Angel investors including Voi CEO Fredrik Hjelm, former Tier COO Roger Hassan and Everphone CEO Jan Dzulko also participated in the round.

Lime launches 100 e-mopeds in New York City as Mayor de Blasio reveals plan to fully re-open by July 1

Weeks after Lime became one of the first companies to win the bid to operate e-scooters in New York City, the micromobility giant is bringing e-mopeds to the city’s streets. This will be the first company to host multiple modes of micromobility sharing in NYC.

On Friday, Lime will release 100 electric mopeds onto the streets of Brooklyn, with planned expansions in Queens and lower Manhattan in the coming weeks. NYC is often choked and heated by smog from car pollution, but if it wants to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, it’ll have to get comfortable with seeing more electric micromobility crop up.

Lime will be directly competing with the only other existing dockless e-moped operator in the city, Revel, which just announced the launch of an all-EV rideshare service. Lime’s initial geographic zones of operation will more or less match Revel’s map, which includes much of north Brooklyn, from Williamsburg, to Greenpoint and Brooklyn Heights, but which will also extend southeast to the Flatlands, according to a Lime spokesperson.

Earlier this month, Lime also launched e-mopeds in Washington D.C. and Paris. With each launch, Lime has stressed its commitment to rider and road user safety with features like AI-enabled helmet detection and license verification and a liveness test, which asks the rider to make various facial expressions into the camera when signing up in order to prove they’re a real person, rather than using a static photo of someone else. A spokesperson said Lime can also use the liveness test to match the rider to their driver’s license to ensure it’s the same person.

Lime also requires a mandatory rider education curriculum designed in consultation with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, and its service is covered by motor vehicle liability insurance, which provides financial protection if a rider were to harm someone else or their property while driving, but not for the rider or rider’s property.

Competitor Revel learned the hard way to include such safety features. Last summer, the company took its mopeds off the roads for a few weeks following several deaths and reports that riders weren’t wearing helmets, in order to come up with a safety plan that would assuage the city’s fears. Now Revel requires that users take a helmet selfie and requires all riders to take a 21-question safety training quiz and watch an instructional video before hopping on a moped for the first time. The app also has a community reporting tool that anyone can use to report bad behavior to Revel.

The steps Lime and Revel are taking to ensure rider safety are not dictated by the NYC Department of Transportation. Whereas the DOT engaged in a lengthy process to approve e-scooters to operate in the city, mopeds are not regulated by the city.

“We made an effort to work collaboratively with DOT, keep them informed of our plans, answer their questions and address any concerns,” a Lime spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Lime will also offer its Lime Aid program to give discounted rates to Pell Grant recipients, job seekers and recipients of subsidy programs, as well as free rides to frontline workers, teachers, non-profit employees, artists and hospitality workers — those who have been most affected by the pandemic.

As more New Yorkers get vaccinated and the city starts to open up (with a freshly-revealed plan to fully re-open the city by July 1) , Lime wants to entrench itself as a leading micromobility vessel, and they couldn’t ask for a better time than a post-pandemic summer.

“The pandemic has pushed New Yorkers to look for new ways to get around that are safe, sustainable and car-free,” said Lime CEO Wayne Ting in a statement. “Now, as New York emerges from a difficult year, we are eager to support an economic comeback driven not by cars, but by sustainable options that reduce congestion and allow for open-air, socially-distanced travel.”