comments 2

Electric scooter startup Lime raises $310 million series D round

Earlier this month it was announced that the on-demand electric scooter and bike startup, Lime, had closed a $310 million series D round. This values the 18-month old company at around $2.4 billion and brings its total raise to $867.1 million. For comparison, Bird — its main competitor — has raised around $400 million.

These numbers should tell you about the kind of growth that the “micromobility” startup is seeing. They are now in 15 countries and its riders have taken over 34 million trips. In the last 7 months alone, the company reports that it has seen a 5.5x increase in ridership. They are seen as an affordable last-mile solution. Supposedly 1/3 of its users report an income of less than $50,000 per year.

Lime entered the Canadian market last fall via Waterloo. They have yet to expand anywhere else, though I suspect we’ll see them in Toronto this spring/summer. One of the barriers is that their scooters (with airless tires) aren’t equipped to deal with snow, so they currently pack them up during the winter months.

This is in addition to the regulatory challenges they are facing in cities all around the world. But like Uber, I am sure there is a compromise to be had.

2 Comments

  1. daniel b

    I think the mobility stuff is some really pets.com-level BS. From a strategy standpoint where’s the moat against new entrants? There’s no real network effect because, unlike even Uber, you don’t need actual people on the supply side of the transaction, just scooters. What economies of scale do you get at by being Bird or Lime that a new entrant couldn’t replicate. Guaranteed any IP you develop will get knocked off by competing chinese manufacturers. I’m genuinely scratching my head at this one…

    Further I think Uber is hooped long term unless driverless happens in the near term. Taxi medallions were invented to address precisely the underlying ride hailing dynamics that uber faces. There are effectively no barriers to new driver entrants on the network. An excess supply of drivers pushes down the per driver revenue to the point where they’re making basically no money. At that point the driver pool deteriorates and the service sucks. Bad service drives down usage, which drives down driver revenue, and so on. Further, attempts to resolve the situation with higher price point don’t typically work because demand is pretty elastic. My personal experience with Uber over the last year bear this out – steadily declining driver quality and an endless stream of $3 off uber coupons to try to keep my usage up.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s