Scooter sharing got off to a great start in 2018 in US and Europe. About 15 startups have cumulatively generated $2 Billion+ in funding till date and expanded to 130+ cities in US and Europe.
In 2019, Scooter sharing operators and their investors have shifted their focus to Asia. But, when scooter sharing operators are already under pressure from regulatory authorities and squeezed margins, is the move to Asia justified? We look at some facts and figures below.
Asia is home to 4.5 Billion people or 60% of global population but its GDP per capita is just ~$6.1K, about 1/8th and 1/6th of US and Europe at $48k and $37k respectively. Asia accounted for 40% (37M Units) new passenger car sales and 90%(45M units) of two wheeler sales in 2018.
Two wheelers are an important mode of transportation in Asia. India and China cumulatively account for 60% (35M units) two-wheelers sold annually followed by ASEAN countries at 11 M units.
So, the question is, when two-wheeler sales and ownership are so high in the region due to temperate climate, low maintenance cost etc. then what problem can scooter sharing solve?
The scooter sharing market in Asia contrasts very sharply with the US and European markets.For example, In India, use of e-scooters in scooter sharing is minuscule as compared to gasoline powered scooters. The scooter sharing services in the country are aimed at providing low cost short-haul trips as compared to first and last mile connectivity in US and Europe. The average trip distance of a shared scooter in India is 10-15km as compared to 2.5-4kms in US and Europe.
The two-wheeler sector is expected to dominate the automotive market, this has made remarkable changes in urban environments by virtue of micro mobility. With the convenience of being affordable and economical it also provides the pick-up and drop-off services. China has made an example in the bike sharing market development with 60 companies which have put in approximately 17 million scooters in the streets of China. The company Ofo was the first company in China to develop the dockless bike sharing service.
The company Lime in March 2021, announced its expansion to double the number of electric bikes and scooters with integration of new hardware. The hardware upgrades and the expansion of the fleet will come from the investment of $50 million which is due to the profitable first quarter results the company received in 2020.
In June 2019, Bangalore based WickedRide Adventure Services, renamed as Bounce, raised $72 million worth of funds, the funding round was led by the Falcon Edge Capital as well as the B Capital group. The investment will mainly focus on expanding the operations of the scooter rental company into new cities in the future. The company in the year 2020 also raised approximately $105 million in the funding round D which was led by B Capital and Accel Partners. With the completion of this round, the company now stands with a total funding of over $194 million with plans to build the company’s own electric fleet.
Vogo Automotive in the early months of the year 2020, raised an amount worth $3.7 million in funds, the funding round was led by Alteria Capital Advisors LLP. The company is expected to sanction these funds in the development of the two wheeler sharing/rental service across India.
Rapido which is a two-wheeler e-hailing provider based in Bangalore raised funds worth $11.2 million as a part of its funding round in series A, the round was led by Nexus Venture partners. The funds will be used to expand the operations of the company in the new cities across the country.
Yulu is aiming to raise funding worth $40 million in the next round as a part of its expansion. The company has already increased its fleet from 4,000 vehicles to 10,000
To know more about Scooter sharing in US and Europe. Read our E-scooter sharing Market in US and Europe report
Singapore- a country whose population is just 50%(~5.6M) as compared to cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bangkok is witnessing multiple scooter sharing trials being conducted, albeit in closed spaces. The LTA (Land transport authority) has received application from 14 e-scooter sharing operators till May 2019.
In Bangkok, Thailand, Scooter sharing will face a tough competition from bike-taxi (very cost-effective and convenient), but it can be a hit in tourist places like Chiang Mai where Neuron Mobility is already present.
Malaysia is among the richest and least populated country in the ASEAN region but scooter sharing is available only in Cyber Jaya and Kuala Lumpur.
RISKS INVOLVED IN SCOOTER SHARING MARKET
The governments across the world have several doubts in the use of sharing scooter services. For instance, the Singapore based ride sharing platform Grab which introduced scooter sharing in the name of Grab Wheels was terminated just after an year of launch in the year 2019 due to high number of accidents. As a result of the same, the country’s Land Transport Authority also reduced the operations of the company from 5,500 to 440 km of paths as well as introduced further restrictions. This caused the company to completely halt its scooter sharing service in the year 2019.
In Hong Kong, the company Lime in partnership with the Chinese microtransit manufacturer Ninebot, developed scooters that posed risk of catching fire spontaneously. As a result of which the company recalled a massive portion of its fleet to improve the functionality. The country’s Legislative Council also stated concerns regarding the battery stability, high collision rate and long braking distance. The council has cited strict regulations over the safety of these electric scooters.
As a consequence of these restrictions in the Asia metropolitan areas, the industry for electric sharing scooters and ride ecosystems are struggling with doubts on viability and licensing regulations in the regions.
MARKET SIZE AND FORECAST
The rental charges of scooter sharing operators vary by a significant margin in four countries considered for study. India being the cheapest at 3.5-4.5/km($0.06-$.07/km) whereas Singapore is most expensive at SG$ 1 for unlock and $SG 0.1 /minute.
The scooter sharing market in the Asia-Pacific region is estimated to grow at a fast pace in the near future as compared to other regions. The growth is attributed mainly to the sudden spurt in the sharing scooter fleet in India. From the year 2020, the most development and expansion in the sector has been in the market of India. It has become the biggest fleet operator across the world with holding approximately 15,000-20,000 scooters in the fleet. The development in the fleet for the scooter sharing market has also been in Taiwan which is leading to its growth.
The market size of scooter sharing market in Asia is much smaller than US and European market with multiple regional operators. The unorganized scooter rental market is comparatively bigger in India, Thailand and Malaysia.
The growth of scooter sharing market in Asia will be dependent on a complex mix of factors and declining car ownership is definitely not one of them as is the case in US and European market.
The scooter sharing market size in Asia is estimated at $XX Million in 2019 and $YY Million by 2025.
COVID IMPACT ON SCOOTER SHARING MARKET IN ASIA
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all the manufacturing and travelling activities across the globe due to the lockdowns and restrictions put in place in order to limit the spread of the virus. Among other sectors hit by the pandemic the automotive and mobility sectors have also taken a hit in some of the departments.
While some industries took a plunge due to the pandemic, several others flourished, along with the vehicles that were used for last-mile delivery services due to increased activity in food delivery and e-commerce. The bike as taxi business because of less customers due to the lockdown started to partner with the grocery and retail store giants as well as the state governments to facilitate the delivery of essentials such as grocery, medicine and food.
As countries across the globe have started to phase out the unlock procedures, industries are starting to recover. However, some companies are still functioning on a work from home basis to control the infection rates. With public transport not working to a full capacity, the demand for mobility service companies has grown to offer alternative safe means of transportation. The two-wheeler sharing market with its accessibility as well as economicity is estimated to grow at a fast pace.
RECENT TRENDS IN THE SCOOTER SHARING MARKET
- April 2021, the company Lime introduced three new features in its app to improve the user experience; free 10 minute reservations, configurable display theme and vehicle recommendations. The company has also launched app clips for which the user can ride without downloading the official application.
- February 2021, the company Niu technologies has announced to be the supplier of electric scooters to the company Gojek, a Southeast Asian ride sharing company, the venture will increase the share of the market in the region.
- As of June 2020, the company Lime, which provides bike sharing services raised funding worth $170 million in the round led by Uber Technologies in addition with Bain Capital Ventures, Alphabet Inc. as well as GV among others.
- In March 2020, Vogo announced the number of electric scooters to be increased in its fleet to a total of over 1 lakh. The company is positive to increase its run rate revenue to $120 million which will be more than double than the current running revenue.
- In January 2020, the company WeMo scooter introduced its scooter sharing service in Taiwan with 200 scooters in the fleet.
- The company Birk announced the launch of Bird Cruiser which is the first seated vehicle of the company. The company is based in the US but has started operating in certain cities of China.
- The company Lyft introduced new bikes to the fleet of the company named Bay Wheels. These are hybrid electric bikes which have been launched specially to be used along bay areas.
- Yulu has already expanded into cities like Delhi, Mumbai as well as Ahmedabad. It has recently partnered in July of 2021 with food delivery giants to deploy approximately 10,000 Yulu DEX across the cities Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi as part of the short-mile delivery program; it will be initiated by December 2021.
- The company also announced the expansion of its fleet from 10,000 to 50,000 units by the end of the year 2021, with Bajaj Auto’s electric scooter joining the fleet
MERGERS & ACQUISITION
- The company Lime in July 2021, announced partnership with a leading mobility service provider Moovit. The company’s electric scooters will be available in Moovit’s app for users to avail the benefits.
- The company Grab has deepened its partnership with the company Adyen which will allow the company’s users to offer more options to pay later in the Asian region.
- Grab has also partnered with the Hyundai Motor Group which will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in the Southeast Asian region.
There are 15+ players active in the scooter sharing market in Asia and 5-6 of them are of Singapore origin but a lot of them are still doing trials and are yet to launch a full-fledged service. Among 10 players profiled in the report, 5 belong to India , 4 to Singapore and 1 to US.
Grab, which was primarily based in Singapore, secured a funding worth $30 million in April of 2020 from Taiwan’s EV giant Kwang Yang Motor company. The funded partnership will demonstrate the commitment to create an ecosystem of clean two-wheeler transportation.
The ride-sharing company Lime in the fiscal year 2020-2021 completed a total of 55,000,000 rides with the company operating in over 135 cities.
The company Grab which is the superapp of Southeast Asia, reported the quarter 1 results of the year 2021. The net sales of the company reached a worth of $507 million as an alltime high, it grew approximately 39% in comparison to the Q1 results of 2020. The company has also announced to go public, the public listing will recover the company’s momentum with an expected equity value of approximately $39.6 billion. It is also expected to provide cash proceeds to the company in the amount of $4.5 billion in partnership with the Altimeter Growth Corporation.
The scooter sharing service of Taiwan WeMo announced the raise of funding worth $3.4 million in a series led by Appworks. The funding investment will be used in the expansion of the company’s operation in cities such as Taipei, Kaohsiung as well as in other Southeast Asian countries. It deployed over 3,000 electric scooters as rentals in the city of Taipei.
In the year 2019 and 2020 venture capitalists and equity partners started to focus more on the mobility startup companies. The companies Ather Energy, Yulu and Vogo raised significant funding during their investment rounds, the company Bounce in January 2020 completed its funding round with a whopping $105 million.
Bounce Rental which is a subsidiary of Wicked Ride Adventure Services reported revenue of INR 87.54 crore in the fiscal year 2020 which was significantly greater than the revenue for the previous year 2019 which was INR 13.88 crore. However, in spite of the increased revenue the company’s expenditure to achieve annual filing and its topline has exceeded the revenue earned by the company. It also started selling accessories and products such as helmets, safety kits, electric power packs and many more which contributed to about 1.3% of the operating revenue. The company also introduced swapping battery type electric scooters by the end of 2019. The service has put an additional strain on the infrastructure costs in the amount of INR 90.1 crore during the year 2020.
Yulu has reported a revenue worth INR 11.3 crore for the fiscal year 2020 which has also reported an increase from the fiscal year 2019 which reported revenue worth INR 1.80 crore. The company has been spending huge amounts of money to expand into cities like Delhi, Mumbai as well as Ahmedabad, which has caused the company to spend more and earn less. The company also raised funding worth INR 30 crore in the round led by Rocketship and the existing investors in the year June 2020.
In May of 2019, Uber which is one of the premier taxi and sharing service providers partnered with Yulu Bikes to provide bicycle sharing service for its customers
Some of the Chinese rental companies have suffered a plunge due to high infrastructure costs and low revenue and have rescinded their rental services. For instance, the company Ofo started with a seed investment of $1.4 million from the Hongdao Capital and Will hunting group. The investment further led to big funding rounds of series C with $130 million, series D with $450 million and final rounds of investment worth $700 million and $866 million. The investors were the giants such as DiDi Chuxing, Alibaba Group and many more ending in the year 2018. The company had a massive investment of $2.2 billion before they started to rescind rental services. By the year 2019 the company pulled its fleet operations from countries such as India and USA coming near bankruptcy. The company’s decline was primarily due to the mismanagement of capital and investment as well as presence of fierce startup competitors such as Mobike.
The company Mobike suffered a similar fate as that of Ofo rental services. The company was acquired by Meituan-Dianping in the year 2018 to launch a superapp offering users with online retail, rental and ride sharing services as well as hotel bookings. The company after the acquisition reported revenue from Mobike at $223 million but encountered a loss of $680 million. Meituan-Dianping group acquired the loss incurred bike sharing company in order to acquire the wide user database in order to make the operation profitable but the company still incurred losses. The company has circled near bankruptcy receding its operation from major cities.
Lime, which started as a bike sharing provider is now predominantly into e-scooter sharing, has broadest coverage in US, Europe and is now also present in Singapore. It’s closest competitor Bird is yet to enter the Asian market though.
Going forward, we expect many new local startups, ride hailing, car rental providers and even car manufacturers to enter the market simply because they can’t risk staying out of it.
- Lime(Neutron Holdings, Inc)
- Neuron Mobility
- Vogo Rentals
- Bounce Share( Formerly known as Metro Bikes)
- Beam Mobility Holdings Pte. Ltd
- QIQ Global Pte Ltd.
- Yulu Bikes Pvt Limited
- Fae Bikes
THIS REPORT WILL ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS
- Is there a market for scooter sharing in Asia? If yes then in which countries?
- What could be the potential market size of scooter sharing in these countries, both volume (Million rides) and value ($M)?
- The economics of scooter sharing to become profitable and a leader?
- What are the problems faced by scooter sharing operators in India, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia?
- The top 5 cities to watch out for in scooter sharing in Asia and why?
- Who is funding the scooter sharing startups and why? How do they seek return on investment, when margins are squeezed?
- What kind of scooters will prove to be more popular in scooter sharing? e-scooters(kick), smart electric scooters or gasoline powered scooters?
- Who are the scooter sharing users in Asia? Do they have any similarity with the users in US and Europe?
- How big is the scooter sharing market from mobile payment, GPS, IOT sensor and scooter manufacturers` perspective?
- The biggest risks for scooter sharing operators in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore
- Market share of leading players in scooter sharing market in Asia
- Market size of unorganized scooter rental market in India, Thailand and Malaysia
- Threat to scooter sharing market from bike sharing and high motorcycle ownership in Asia
- Upcoming regulatory framework for scooter sharing in India, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia
- Docked or dockless scooter sharing, which will grow in popularity?