Ford enters scooter wars with acquisition of startup Spin

Ford is entering the e-scooter market with the acquisition of California startup Spin (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
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Ford enters scooter wars with acquisition of startup Spin

  • News reports said the value of the deal was between $80 million and $100 million
  • The two-wheeled scooters offer promise to reduce auto traffic, according to backers

NEW YORK: Ford Motor Co. agreed Thursday to acquire the electric scooter-sharing startup Spin, entering the fast-growing segment of last-mile urban mobility.
“The acquisition of Spin is the latest strategic move by Ford in the mobility space, as the company builds a mobility portfolio to help customers get places more easily, more quickly and less expensively,” Ford said in a statement.
The purchase price was not disclosed but news reports said the value of the deal was between $80 million and $100 million.
The California-based startup said on Twitter: “We’re excited to announce that Spin is joining the Ford team! Over the next year, we plan to launch in 100+ markets in close collaboration with cities, transportation planners, advocates, & community and workforce group.”
Ford’s move adds a major new player to the hot segment that includes Uber, Lyft and others operating in dozens of cities worldwide, allowing smartphone users to unlock and ride the scooters and leave them anywhere, with no dock required.
The two-wheeled scooters offer promise to reduce auto traffic, according to backers, but have been criticized for creating clutter and potential road hazards. The luster of scooters has been dimmed by a handful of high-profile accidents, some fatal.
Spin said in a statement it hopes to address concerns about the new kind of transport.
“In the cities where we operate, we plan to help with enforcement around safety and parking, as well as provide rich data to inform urban planning and bolster sustainability initiatives,” said a statement by the founders.
“And we’ll continue to hire locally, while partnering with the highest quality operations teams to ensure our scooters are well-maintained and integrating well among small businesses, city institutions, and transit infrastructure.”


Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

Updated 16 min 14 sec ago
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Careem looks to raise up to $200 million in China

  • Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized
  • Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors

HONG KONG: Careem, Uber’s main Middle East rival, is looking at raising between $100 million and $200 million from Chinese investors, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.
Investment bank China International Capital Corporation (CICC) is advising Dubai-based Careem, but it was not immediately clear when or if a deal would be finalized, the source said, adding there was a lack of familiarity and interest among Chinese investors in Middle Eastern start-ups.
Beijing-based CICC and Careem both declined to comment.
Reuters reported on Monday that CICC and New York-based investment bank Jefferies were both advising Careem on potential investment options and capital raising, including a possible Middle East M&A deal with Uber.
Careem, which counts German car maker Daimler and China’s largest ride-hailing company DiDi Chuxing among its other backers, competes head-to-head with Uber in most of the major cities in the Middle East.
Careem said in October it had secured $200 million in a new funding round from existing investors, and that it expected to raise more to finance expansion plans.
That investment, combined with previous fund raising and company growth into new markets and segments, gave Careem an estimated valuation of more than $2 billion.
Reuters reported in March that Careem was in early talks to raise as much as $500 million.