Startup News & Analysis

In a Spin: Scooter startup acquired for $140 million just two years after launch

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien /

Spin Scooters. Source: Supplied.

Spin scooters. Source: Supplied.

San Francisco scooter startup Spin has been acquired, reportedly for $US100 million ($138.8 million), less than two years after it first hit the streets.

In a Medium post, Spin’s founders confirmed the startup has been acquired by multinational vehicle manufacturer Ford, and said it will operate as a standalone business within Ford’s Smart Mobility division.

Neither Spin nor Ford have confirmed the terms of the deal, but a report from Axios said it was worth close to $US100 million.

Founded by Singaporeans Euwyn Poon, Derrick Ko and Zaizhuang Cheng in early-2017, Spin had early support from seed investors at Y Combinator.

In May 2017, it raised $8 million in Series A funding, led by Grishin Robotics, which — according to Axios — meant the startup was valued at $40 million.

In the Medium post, the Spin founders said the startup is “poised to expand aggressively”.

It will be scaling up its engineering, design and urban planning teams, as well as bringing in more policy makers, lawyers, and operators, “to create a [sic] affordable, convenient and sustainable form of last mile transportation”.

Spin also plans to quickly roll out across “hundreds” of US markets, including large and small cities and university campuses.

“Vehicle emissions are the single human largest contribution to global warming,” the post says.

“Now is the time to act. We are committed to doing our part to help stem the tide by offering sustainable transportation focused on being part of the long-term solution.”

In a separate Medium post, Sunny Madra, vice president of Ford X, said the acquisition is intended to help Ford keep up with “the fast-paced, often-experimental mobility sector”, and to provide the products and services customers want.

“As more people consider scooters to be a viable mobility option, now is the right time for Ford to work closely with Spin’s highly experienced and dedicated team to help expand their service to more cities,” Madra said.

This is just the latest development in the electric scooter startup phenomenon.

In July, scooter startup Lime announced it had received a “sizeable” investment from ride-sharing giant Uber, as part of its $US335 million ($454.08 million) funding round.

In September, Estonian ride-sharing startup Taxify unveiled plans to bring electric scooter-sharing to Australia although those plans do not appear to have come to fruition yet and earlier this month startup Bird announced a new platform allowing other businesses to run their own mini scooter empires.

Australia’s relationship with bike-sharing startups has been tumultuous to say the least. And with the scooter revolution picking up steam, and trial schemes popping up in cities Down Under, only time will tell how Aussies will handle a new two-wheeled last-mile transport solution.

NOW READ: Sydney bike-sharing startup Airbike bucks the trend, launching trial run in Canberra

NOW READ: Chinese umbrella-sharing business faces rainy days after losing most of its umbrellas: Lessons in trust for startups

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Stephanie Palmer-Derrien

Stephanie Palmer-Derrien is the editor at StartupSmart.

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