Moped sharing is expected to develop in 2020 due to fleet expansions, growing investments in the space, and more cross-sector partnerships.
2019 has been a big year for shared mobility in general and moped sharing in particular. 2020 will be even better.
Among the four main shared mobility sectors: car, bike, kick scooter and moped, the latter is the smallest sector. Established in 2012, moped sharing has undergone slow development in its early years, followed by a more rapid expansion in the past two years. Today, an impressive 75,000 mopeds are available for sharing in more than 20 countries.1
Despite its rather slow but sustainable growth until 2018, the year 2020 is expected to be a very dynamic year for the sector. Three reasons why we might see the biggest addition of mopeds to the global sharing fleet to date are: the appearance of new players and their expansion plans, unprecedented investment sums, and the emergence of cross-sector partnerships.
New players established and ready for expansion
In 2019, new global players emerged on the moped sharing scene. You need proof? Bounce, Revel and Vogo are heavily expanding and the US operator Revel opened new city chapters on a monthly basis at the end of 2019. They want to be active in 10 cities across the US in 2020.2 Indian company Bounce just opened its second city chapter in Hyderabad and has emerged as one of the biggest moped sharing stakeholders within one year. The same holds true for India-based Vogo. Additionally, many established players have been announcing expansion plans. Closures of businesses mainly impacted smaller operators with the exception of German operator COUP.3 The market is set for a strong growth phase in 2020.
One of the main reasons these players are able to achieve unprecedented growth push is the rise in investment sums. The market is increasingly VC-backed. Revel gathered close to 30 million USD in investments in 20194 and Bounce gathered at least 194 million USD in several investment rounds.5 Until 2019, these strong VC-backed rounds were more often associated with kick scooter sharing operators.
New mobility press articles often raise the question of how different mobility options in the city will impact each other. Some commentators describe the fear of “cannibalization” amongst these mobility options. The fact is, in order to generate a system that is less dependent on the private car, cities need a strong mobility ecosystem. This includes transit, shared mobility, cycling and sometimes personal cars.
The sector is seeing more partnerships and multi and intermodal cooperation emerging. Here are two examples of what this looks like today.
Example 1: Sharing operators include mopeds to their fleet
Many operators from other shared mobility sectors added mopeds to their bike or car fleets. Examples of this are Indigo Weel from France (bike/mopeds), Poppy from Belgium (car/kick scooter/moped) or Blinkee from Poland (kick scooter/moped). Also, leading kick scooter firms are considering to diversify their fleets and add mopeds. The company Bird has already acquired moped sharing innovator Scoot in 2019.
Example 2: Ridesharing companies invest and integrate moped sharing into their ecosystem
Two major moped sharing companies recently moved closer to ridesharing stakeholders. Vogo is heavily backed by Ola; one of the global leading ridesharing companies and both companies continue to integrate their service offers. Additionally, Cityscoot have partnered with UBER in France since late 2019. Scooters can now be rented via the UBER app, a major milestone for cross-sector service integration.
These examples are helping to spread the reach of moped sharing and will help to increase the usage of existing systems within moped sharing and other shared mobility sectors alike.
All of the above mentioned factors: rapid expansion of new market leaders, rising investment sums and cross-sector partnerships are paving the way for a continued strong market growth in the sector. By the end of 2020, I believe that the sector will have surpassed the 100,000 scooter threshold.
1 Howe, Enrico & Jakobsen, Felix Jonathan (2019): unu Global Scooter Sharing Market Report 2019 https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5f48eae7d382da597c212fc3/t/6026481f42e05472548f0cb8/1613121704120/Global+Scooter+Sharing+Market+Report+2019
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