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Ford’s scooter startup was supposed to be in 100 markets by the end of 2019. That didn’t happen, and its founder explains why.


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Ford’s scooter startup was supposed to be in 100 markets by the end of 2019. That didn’t happen, and its founder explains why.

Spin, the scooter company owned by Ford, wanted to be in 100 markets by the end of 2019. Currently, the startup is only in 70. In an interview, founder Euwyn Poon defended the startups growth in the 18 months post-acquisition.Click here for more BI Prime stories. When something works, double down.That’s the strategy that Spin, the scooter…

Ford’s scooter startup was supposed to be in 100 markets by the end of 2019. That didn’t happen, and its founder explains why.
  • Spin, the scooter company owned by Ford, wanted to be in 100 markets by the end of 2019. 
  • Currently, the startup is only in 70. 
  • In an interview, founder Euwyn Poon defended the startups growth in the 18 months post-acquisition.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

When something works, double down.

That’s the strategy that Spin, the scooter startup bought by Ford for $100 million in 2018, has adopted as it fights for footing in the cutthroat micromobility industry.

But it’s a departure from high-flying goals set in 2019, when it hoped to be in 100 markets by the end of the year. Spin currently operates in 70 markets, 30 short of that goal.

“We’re dramatically different than we were at the acquisition,” Euwyn Poon, the company’s president and cofounder, said in an interview, noting that the startup now has 600 employees. 

“We actually made a conscious decision to slow down a little bit of the rollout and to focus on the markets that are doing quite well,” Poon said, emphasizing that the company has been instead “figuring out the economics of the business.”

That’s not to say Spin hasn’t seen a few big wins. It beat out competitors including Bird and Lime for the coveted right to operate in San Francisco. And in Washington, DC, it operates next to Uber’s Jump, Lyft and Skip.

Thanks to that win D.C. is now Spin’s most lucrative market — and by a wide-margin.

“It’s a walkability factor and the demographic as well,” Poon said. “People are running around to meetings basically all the time, it’s flat, and more spread out than somewhere like Manhattan.”

College campuses are also a massive focus for Spin, with the University of Central Florida leading that segment.  In 2018, Poon told Business Insider they were a “natural fit” thanks to university demographics and campus layouts.” 

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Next up to continue growing markets that have worked is a hybrid model, with both docks for scooter parking and charging, as well as free-floating vehicles that can be left wherever.

“It actually works for all three constituents at once,” Poon said. “It’s a parking spot for riders, it helps draw customers to businesses who have space and want docks. And it’s also good for our operations because it drastically reduces the cost of having to move the scooter back and forth to the warehouse everyday.”

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