Scooter-sharing startup raises $17 million for Aussie rollout, as COVID-19 boosts micromobility trend

Neuron Mobility

Neuron Mobility co-founders Zach Wang and Harry Yu. Source: supplied.

Singapore-founded scooter-sharing startup Neuron Mobility has raised $17 million in an add-on to its Series A round, co-led by Aussie VC Square Peg.

The round, which was also co-led by US investor GSR Ventures, brings the startup’s Series A raise to $43 million.

It’s pegged to fuel an expansion throughout Australia, as well as a move into the UK market.

Founded in 2016, Neuron currently operates in eight Aussie cities, having rolled out in Canberra and Townsville within the past two weeks. It also has scooters on the ground in Auckland, New Zealand.

Over the next 12 months, Neuron co-founders Zachary Wang and Harry Yu have plans to extend into a further five locations in Australia, something they say will create some 400 jobs here.

On the face of it, the COVID-19 pandemic wouldn’t necessarily lend itself to bike or scooter-sharing.

In fact, back in April, Uber pulled its bike-sharing service in Melbourne after a mere three weeks.

Scooter-sharing startup Lime also paused its services all over the world, and ultimately saw its valuation drop by a reported 80%.

And Bird reportedly laid-off about 30% of its employees — more than 400 people.

But, Neuron says it hasn’t necessarily seen a drop in usage during the pandemic.

In fact, in Australia, its research suggests one-in-five users during the COVID-19 lockdown had never used an e-scooter before.

Australian and New Zealand riders are also spending an average of 10% longer on their scooters, per ride, and travelling an average of 23% further.

The average e-scooter trip is now 2.6km, the research said.

“Cities across the world are rethinking their transport systems and increasingly people are looking for a safe, inexpensive and socially-distanced way to travel post-COVID-19,” Neuron Mobility co-founder and chief Zachary Wang said in a statement.

“This presents a great opportunity for micromobility providers.”

NOW READ: Scooter-sharing startup Beam bucks the trend, raising $38.6 million to expand APAC operations

NOW READ: OBike pulls out of Melbourne and enters liquidation in Singapore: Why hasn’t bike-sharing kicked off in Australia?

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LAurie dacy
LAurie dacy
21 days ago

I used Neuron in Adelaide 3 times last month. For fun. But would it suit?: Expensive hairdos. Briefcases. High heels. Toolboxes. Rain. Shopping bags. An at $15 to take me from one corner of the city to another, hardly a bargain. Not really alternative public transport.