Ford buys elec­tric scooter startup Spin

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

NEW YORK: Ford Mo­tor Co said it has ac­quired Spin, a San Fran­cisco-based scooter-shar­ing com­pany.

For Ford, the deal adds scoot­ers to a sprawl­ing ar­ray of fu­ture trans­porta­tion ser­vices, which al­ready in­clude au­tonomous ve­hi­cles and on-de­mand shut­tles.

As for Spin, it has found a deep-pock­eted ac­quirer af­ter hav­ing been locked out of sev­eral key mar­kets.

“As more peo­ple con­sider scoot­ers to be a vi­able mo­bil­ity op­tion, now’s the right time for Ford to work closely with Spin, the au­tomaker said in a state­ment.

“Spin is an im­por­tant step to­wards re­al­is­ing our am­bi­tious vi­sion for the fu­ture of ur­ban mo­bil­ity.”

The San Fran­cisco-based startup was one of the com­pa­nies that put scoot­ers on the city’s streets this spring, spark­ing oc­ca­sional con­flicts with pedes­tri­ans and driv­ers. In March, Spin said it planned to launch ser­vices in 60 mar­kets. San Fran­cisco even­tu­ally gave two com­pa­nies per­mits to op­er­ate scooter-shar­ing ser­vices, shut­ting Spin and other early mar­ket en­trants out.

Spin also ap­plied to op­er­ate in Santa Mon­ica but was snubbed by city of­fi­cials there, too.

The com­pany cur­rently op­er­ates in nine cities and five col­lege cam­puses, and says it has fa­cil­i­tated more than one mil­lion rides. This makes it much smaller than Bird and Lime, the star­tups that have emerged as mar­ket lead­ers.

Spin has raised just US$8mil com­pared with the hun­dreds of mil­lions brought in by Bird and Lime and it’s looked to raise money through cryp­tocur­rency to­ken sales. — Bloomberg

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