Ridesharing Apps, Personal EVs & Future of Urban Mobility

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Issue #22

Around the world, people are using lightweight, electric, and shared vehicles on the road. E-bikes and e-scooters startups are venturing into the space. Big auto brands like Mini Cooper and Porsche are breaking into the micromobility games. Personal EVs are carving out new opportunities for selling high-end, luxury personal gear.

In this analysis, weโ€™ll study the top 127 startups and unpack: what new product trends are emerging, how they differentiate, monetize, what are the business opportunities and new revenue streams.

1. Key Trends

(1) Big automakers are breaking into micromobility:

(2) People are buying more bikes than cars:

  • Petrol prices surges and increased costs of car ownership are turning people into bicyclists. COVID-19 nudged people to consider social distancing. Around the world, consumers are adopting lightweight vehicles for daily commutes.
  • More e-bikes were sold than electric cars in 2021 in the U.S.
  • Last year, Europe saw a record-breaking $5M in e-bike sales.
  • Bike sales are rising in the U.K, up 47% market size value in 2021 than in 2019.

(3) Shared micromobility is going electric:

  • Startups are making urban transportation more flexible, eco-friendly, and sustainable by building electric-powered micromobility rental platforms.
  • Lime is an e-scooter and e-bike sharing app.
  • Voi is an e-scooter rental and sharing platform.
  • Avocargo lets you rent electric cargo bikes anywhere in Berlin and Munich.
  • GO Sharing offers e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-cars rental in one app.

(4) Rise of personal EVs:

  • A shared vehicle is for daily commute necessities. Ownership is for personal self-expression. Despite the growing popularity of shared e-mobility, lightweight vehicle ownerships are gaining traction. Companies look beyond โ€œmicromobility-as-vehicleโ€ and create โ€œmicromobility-as-personal-gearโ€.
  • Unagi builds superior e-scooters for personal use.
  • Lacroix Boards builds high-end and long-lasting electric skateboards. Its Lonestar Supersport modal costs $4,399.99.
  • King Song makes unicycles (one-wheeler motorized EVs) that include stylish headlights, rear brake lights, and sidelights.

(๐Ÿ”’ Full version) +8 more key trends, backed by real company examples:

๐Ÿ”‘ (5/12) How on-demand platforms are using micromobility (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (6/12) The future of food delivery is already happening (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (7/12) What new features are important for bikes/e-bikes (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (8/12) Top niche markets that are attracting acquirers (5 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (9/12) Why cargo bikes are gaining popularity (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (10/12) Top acquisitions and signals for startup innovation (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (11/12) Which players are leading the driverless economy (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (12/12) What is mobility subscription business model (4 company examples)

2. Market Players & Competitor Databases

  • ๐Ÿข Total 127 company examples across the urban mobility sector
  • ๐Ÿ”– Total 10 niche markets
  • ๐Ÿ—ƒ Company databases: value proposition, website, stage, total funding raised, year founded, company size, and location.
  • ๐Ÿ‘Œ Filter competitors by categories.


3. Problems & Market Needs

(1) Cost of car ownership:

  • Increased fuel demand and supply restrictions are causing fuel shortages. Gas prices are skyrocketing. Expensive petrol prices are forcing consumers to look into alternative modes of transportation.
  • Startups are helping people reduce movement costs by making vehicles shareable, affordable, flexible, and accessible.
  • Dott offers e-scooters and e-bikes rental starting from โ‚ฌ0.25/min.
  • Cargoroo offers e-cargo bike-sharing for more payload needs, starting from โ‚ฌ1 for the first 20 minutes, then โ‚ฌ4,80 per hour.
  • Cooltra lets you rent motorcycles by minutes or hours.
  • Quick Ride offers carpool & bikepool; connects commuters with other like-minded professionals who are heading to the same destination and at the same time.

(๐Ÿ”’ Full version) +5 more well-defined market needs with real examples:

๐Ÿ”‘ (2/6) How to help people move faster in the cities (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (3/6) How to satisfy rising demand in e-commerce (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (4/6) How to position your company as provider tools/SaaS (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (5/6) How to use micromobility to improve fitness & lifestyle (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (6/6) Address specific and underserved needs (3 company examples)

4. Next Big Things + Biz Opportunities

(1) Waze 3.0 for the future of mobility:

  • The increased adoption of lightweight, electric and autonomous vehicles will require specialized location technology that goes beyond detecting real-time traffic on the road.
  • Creating alternatives to Waze or Google Maps will be able to help city cyclists, delivery drones, and autonomous cars navigate routes, save time, discover local businesses, and avoid congestion.
  • Companies like Waymo, Sanborn, and NVIDIA are building smarter maps for self-driving cars.
  • Mapillary is building smarter maps for mobility, navigation, and autonomous driving through imagery crowdsourcing.
  • Strava maps routes for recreational cyclists and runners.

(2) Connected in-vehicle commerce:

  • Connected car commerce is a $230 billion opportunity. Shopping for foods, groceries, and services directly from the carโ€™s touchscreen will become common. The next-generation mobility startups will enable in-car e-commerce on the go.
  • In-car fintech: Ryd is an in-car payment app.
  • In-car shopping: Mercedes Benz has an e-commerce platform that allows drivers to order things online through the car.
  • In-vehicle entertainment: Lyftโ€™s e-bike has a built-in LCD screen and speaker system.
  • In-car advertisement: Ara provides car-top and in-car advertisement display. Vugo is a rideshare advertising company that markets ads on billboards on top of vehicles for hire.

(3) Demand for vehicle insurance will boom:

  • The more riders on the street, the greater the need to provide instant insurance.
  • New opportunities exist in making short-distance travel insurable and offering protection for riders across multimodal transportation.
  • Zego offers scooter insurance for food delivery and courier drivers.
  • โ€‹โ€‹Sundays Insurance offers coverage for cyclists (e-bike, mountain bike & road bike) including protection against theft, accidental damage, and more.
  • By Miles offers pay-per-mile car insurance.
  • Digit Insurance offers two-wheeler and bike insurance.

(๐Ÿ”’ Full version) 6 more untapped market opportunities:

๐Ÿ”‘ (4/9) What will community-first mobility look like (3 use cases)

๐Ÿ”‘ (5/9) Who is building the next-gen micro vehicles (4 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (6/9) How will the next ridesharing apps leverage computer vision (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (7/9) How to piggyback on future of work for enterprise solutions (3 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (8/9) How can consumer-focused apps tap into B2B SaaS game (2 company examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (9/9) 4 revenue streams and new monetization opportunities (3 company examples)

5. Tactics & Recommendations

(1) Identify who youโ€™re targeting:

  • BlaBlaCar is a car-sharing platform focusing on travelers.
  • Volansi builds long-range drones with large payloads for air logistics.
  • Manna builds drones for last-mile delivery (i.e. take-outs, groceries, parcels).
  • Scoop offers carpooling for corporate and employees.

(2) Create a minimum viable product (MVP):

  • Service-as-MVP: Start an agency business focusing on mobility solutions like Solidstudio. Offer web/app development, IT consulting, and fractional CTO services. Get paid to learn about the micromobility industry and pain points. Digitize later.
  • Crowdsourced MVP: Leverage user-generated content. Footpath Route Planner lets users submit new routes and contribute to the expansion of the product, content & feature.
  • Sales-as-MVP: Use the sales process to disguise a tech product. Connect drivers and brands through outreach to create on-vehicle advertising business.
  • Recommended MVP tools: location and route data (Google Maps API, Mapbox); bike-sharing data (Scooter API); create an online rental marketplace (Sharetribe, Marketplacer, Nautical); Mobility software (Moovit, Passport)

(๐Ÿ”’ Full version) 4 more tactics and recommendations:

๐Ÿ”‘ (3/6) Focus on single-modal transport (4 examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (4/6) Find ways to differentiate (6 examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (5/6) Find your first 100 users (2 examples)

๐Ÿ”‘ (6/6) Create a revenue model (7 company examples)

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