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Everything you need to know about micromobility fleet insurance
Everything you need to know about micromobility fleet insurance

Discover why fleet insurance is important for shared micromobility operators. Learn how the right coverage provides peace of mind against unexpected challenges.

For shared mobility operators, fleet insurance should be one of the top priorities. No matter the size or composition of your fleet, having the right insurance can offer peace of mind by protecting your business from unforeseen situations

However, the insurance question can sometimes seem daunting – especially if you're new to the industry. In this article, we will explore the key things you need to know about insuring your shared micromobility fleet.

Why you need insurance

Operating a shared mobility fleet isn’t always smooth sailing. Accidents can happen – whether it's a minor fender-bender or something more severe. Insurance serves as your safety net, offering financial coverage for repairs, replacements, and even potential legal obligations after an incident.

Here are the main reasons why insurance should be one of the top priorities for shared mobility fleet operators: 

Legal compliance: In many places, insurance for shared mobility fleets is a legal requirement. You probably want to comply with these regulations to avoid any potential fines, penalties – or even the suspension of your operations.

Financial security: Insurance also helps keep your business going financially, no matter what happens. Without insurance, accidents, vehicle damage, or theft can seriously impact your finances. Comprehensive insurance coverage can ensure that you're not left scrambling to cover any unexpected expenses.

Understanding shared micromobility insurance

When it comes to insuring micromobility fleets, part of the challenge stems from the fact that the market is relatively new. Some insurance underwriters avoid dealing directly with micromobility because it's seen as an unfamiliar market. 

This is where brokers like Cachet and others specializing in micromobility insurance come in. They partner with various insurance underwriters to provide coverage for operators in this field.

When it comes to shared micromobility, insurance coverage generally has a twofold role: safeguarding assets and handling third-party engagement in the event of accidents.

person riding bicycle during daytime

Liability coverage: Securing third-party public liability insurance for shared mobility fleets is not just a matter of choice – in some places, it's mandated by law. This insurance serves to protect pedestrians and riders in the unfortunate event of accidents, providing financial coverage for injuries and damages that may arise. In other words, it's a safety net that offers peace of mind to operators.

When it comes to mandatory third-party liability insurance, the negotiations with the insurance company usually begin by figuring out what the local authorities require to give them a permit. After that, the insurance policy is adjusted to meet the specific demands outlined by these authorities.

Physical damage coverage: This covers the repair or replacement costs of vehicles if they are damaged due to accidents, collisions, vandalism, or theft. Depending on the policy, physical damage coverage may also extend to equipment like GPS devices, charging stations, and other hardware.

What decides your insurance premium payments?

The amount you'll pay in premiums depends on various factors that are specific to your business This includes your fleet's makeup, where and how you operate, and the level of coverage you're aiming for.

Fleet usage: The more a shared micromobility fleet is used, the more chances there are for things to go wrong. When a fleet is in high demand and used often, there's a greater likelihood that something might happen that requires insurance coverage.

Rider behavior: Insurance companies also consider the fleet's ability to predict and manage undesirable rider behavior. Reckless riding, improper parking, or violating traffic rules can significantly increase the risk of accidents and incidents. Operators that have better measures in place to anticipate and mitigate such behaviors can demonstrate a lower risk profile to insurance providers.

black metal train rail during daytime

Value of the fleet: How much your vehicles are worth individually and as a fleet will affect how much you pay for insurance. If your vehicles are expensive, your insurance premiums will be higher because it would cost more to replace them if they get damaged or lost.

Size of the fleet: Operators can often negotiate more favorable insurance rates for proportionally larger fleets. As the number of vehicles increases, the overall expected risk is distributed and “diluted” as a result – which translates to lower premiums per vehicle. 

However, some brokers like Cachet have embraced a broader approach, ensuring that smaller and medium-sized fleets can also benefit from insurance coverage.

Technology implementation: Shared mobility services that employ technologies like GPS tracking, telematics, and IoT devices can provide insurers with valuable data. This data can then help assess driver behavior and usage patterns, enabling insurers to offer more accurate and tailored premium rates. This also takes into account how simple it is for scooters to be stolen and how well the recovery processes function – which can also play a role in insurance expenses.

Where you operate: The location in which your fleet operates is another important factor. From the insurer’s perspective, different areas pose varied levels of risk. For example, urban mobility – which is associated with a higher risk of accidents – may incur higher premiums compared to vehicles used in rural areas.

Level of coverage: The level of coverage you choose directly affects how much you pay in premiums. Opting for higher coverage limits means you get more comprehensive protection, but obviously, it also means your insurance costs go up.

a scooter parked on the side of a bridge

Choosing the ideal insurance for your fleet

Every shared mobility fleet and business is different, so your insurance needs will depend on things like the type and size of your fleet, where you operate, how much risk you're comfortable with, and of course – how much you are willing to pay. 

For example, do you require coverage for specific risks, like vandalism, or perhaps your fleet is composed of premium vehicles that are more expensive? To make it more relatable, let's dive into a practical case of a shared micromobility operator's experience with insurance.

How Hoog found the right insurance with Cachet

The concept behind Hoog Mobility is to revolutionize transportation in smaller Estonian towns. They recognized the need for efficient and eco-friendly local travel and brought a shared mobility solution often seen in big cities but missing in smaller communities: electric scooters.

Cash-strapped mobility startups often worry about potential damage or vandalism happening to their shared vehicles. This concern is shared by traditional insurance companies too. As a result, these insurers might hesitate to provide coverage for shared scooters, and if they do – it's usually at a higher cost.

Faced with this challenge, Hoog initially operated without insurance due to the steep expenses. But that changed when Cachet provided them with a customized insurance solution that perfectly suited the company's needs. Hoog also realized that the initial worry about vandalism wasn't as much of an issue as they thought. But still – having insurance for their fleet turned out to be a sound financial decision that gave them peace of mind.

Concluding remarks

Don't underestimate insurance – it's just as crucial as having a top-notch fleet and solid software. Insurance is best approached proactively – discovering you've cut corners after an unforeseen event will cost you significantly more.

Getting insurance for shared micromobility might be a bit trickier since it's still a new concept, but we've seen that even smaller fleets can make it work – it's just a matter of finding a suitable partner who understands your needs.

At the end of the day, insurance isn't merely about meeting legal requirements – it showcases your dedication to safety, responsible operations, and the well-being of everyone involved in your mobility business.

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How much capital do you need to start your own shared mobility business?How much capital do you need to start your own shared mobility business?
How much capital do you need to start your own shared mobility business?

Discover the required capital to jumpstart your shared mobility venture. Learn about the essential expenses and gain the knowledge needed to embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence.

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As shared mobility continues to experience rapid growth – projected to generate up to $1 trillion in consumer spending by 2030 – it's no wonder that entrepreneurs are drawn to explore opportunities in this thriving market.

However, despite the optimistic market outlook, the shared mobility industry doesn't provide a magic shortcut to massive and instant returns on investment – despite what some players in the industry might claim. In this blog post, we'll offer a realistic and experienced-based assessment of the investment needed to get a shared mobility venture off the ground.

We will explore how much capital you need to kickstart your own shared mobility business. With experience in supporting over 100 entrepreneurs worldwide, ATOM Mobility is in a good position to understand the financial details.

We'll discuss the essential expenses involved, including vehicles, software, insurance, and operational costs – the aim is to help you make informed decisions and kickstart your entrepreneurial journey with confidence.

Vehicle costs: how much will you pay?

The most significant cost in starting a shared mobility business comes from getting the vehicles.

Here's what you can expect to pay for a single vehicle:

  • Scooters: 750-1000 EUR
  • E-bikes: 1300-2500 EUR
  • Mopeds: 2000-4000 EUR 
  • Cars: 12000-20000 EUR

Considering the higher costs associated with vehicles like mopeds and cars, leasing is also a viable option. However, securing leasing partnerships is more challenging for operators without an established business.

The choice of vehicles will ultimately depend on your business model – whether you want to provide affordable or high-end options. For instance, if you opt for top-of-the-line scooters from brands like Segway and Äike, expect to pay over 1000 EUR per vehicle. On the flip side, you can find scooters as low as 400 EUR on the Chinese market, but such a price tag comes with its own set of risks. 

Optimal starting fleet size for scooter-sharing businesses

Assuming you've made your decision on the model and brand, the next question is: how many vehicles should you buy? What's the ideal fleet size to start with?

We will focus on scooters – with their affordable price tag, they have become a favored choice for those looking to venture into the shared mobility industry.

Based on what we've seen, operators kickstart their ventures with fleets of different sizes. Some start with a humble fleet of 20 scooters in their first season and then steadily grow to over 100 vehicles in the following seasons, even diversifying into cars and other modes of transportation. 

However, starting with a larger fleet offers distinct advantages. Having a bigger fleet means more people will notice your brand, leading to faster adoption of shared mobility within the local community. In other words – a larger fleet speeds up the process of making shared mobility a part of people's everyday commuting routines. 

Another crucial point is that operating costs remain relatively consistent for a fleet of up to 200 vehicles. Beyond that, you'll likely need to expand your team, acquire more vans, secure a larger warehouse, and hire an additional technician. But, if you're starting out small, 20 vehicles instead of 100-200 won't lead to significant cost savings in operating expenses. Therefore, it's more cost-effective to begin with a larger number of vehicles from the outset.

Maintenance and insurance

Maintenance costs are also an important consideration. On average, around 10-15% of your fleet will require ongoing maintenance, depending on the brand and model of the vehicles. With a smaller fleet of 20 scooters, it's statistically likely that 2-3 units will be undergoing repairs at any given time. In case your fleet experiences a series of unfortunate incidents, this percentage can quickly escalate, leading to a decrease in the number of scooters generating revenue.

Securing third-party public liability insurance for smaller fleets, which is required by law to protect pedestrians and riders in the event of accidents, can be a challenging task. No matter the fleet size, operators are required to pay an annual premium. This means that smaller fleets, like those with only 20 scooters, could end up paying the same premium as fleets with 150 scooters. For a smaller business, this expense can be quite prohibitive and difficult to manage. Thus, insurance costs are another reason to consider starting with a bigger fleet.

On average, the insurance costs around 8 EUR per scooter per month (paid annually) for fleets ranging from 100 to 200 scooters. These costs may vary depending on the specific coverage requirements set by local authorities.

Aim for 100 scooters – or 50 if you're low on cash

If we take into account brand visibility, maintenance, and insurance, it’s advisable for new operators to aim for a fleet size of at least 50 scooters. It’s a budget-friendly choice, especially in a location with strong market demand. A fleet of this size can also serve as a market test run. 

However, for a more robust start, an ideal fleet size would be 100 scooters. As we mentioned earlier, the operating costs for both 50 and 100 vehicles would be more or less the same. However, opting for 100 vehicles instead of 50 would result in double the revenue. This boost in revenue would make it easier to sustain and expand the business. Having more vehicles would also contribute to better brand visibility in the long run.

Shared mobility software costs and considerations

Once you've got the fleet sorted, the next step is to get your hands on some software. 

When it comes to shaping your brand identity, the software you use is just as crucial as the vehicles you offer. Having a top-notch fleet is great, but it won't make a difference if you neglect the software side of your shared mobility service. You want users to easily find, book, and pay for your rides without any trouble.

When it comes to white-label software pricing, it usually involves a one-time setup fee plus a monthly subscription fee based on the number of vehicles – or a dynamic pricing model per usage. 

The setup fees for white-label software are typically between 4-10k EUR, depending on the provider and features. The monthly fees will vary based on fleet size or usage. 

ATOM Mobility white-label software offers a wide choice of setup options, catering to fleets of all sizes, starting from the smallest and going all the way up to 5k+ vehicles. There is also a special plan for those who want to dip their toes in the water with 20 or fewer vehicles, which doesn’t require a setup fee. It's a great way to test the market and get started without breaking the bank.

Starting your shared mobility venture with 70k

Now that we've got the basics covered, let's crunch some numbers and calculate the amount of money you'll need to kickstart your scooter-sharing business.

Taking into account the costs of vehicles, software, insurance, and other expenses, we're looking at 70,000 EUR

Here's what you'll need to kickstart your business and keep it running for at least one season: 

  • 40k for buying 50 scooters
  • 10k to procure and maintain software for the season
  • 7-10k for insurance coverage
  • 5k for a warehouse
  • 5k for renting a van

On top of that, you need to consider the ongoing operating costs, which will fluctuate based on the size of your fleet. If you have a fleet of 50-150 scooters, it can be efficiently managed by two owners – or one owner and a couple of part-time employees. The expense of charging the vehicles will depend on the local prices in your area.

So, with around 70k in your pocket, you'll have a decent budget to make things happen in the first year. You can prove your concept, test the market, and learn the ropes along the way. And once you've got a solid foundation, scaling up in the second year becomes a lot easier. Investors will feel more confident jumping on board when they see that your business model is actually viable.

Of course, the 70k figure is not set in stone. The actual expenses will vary based on your location and your willingness to take on additional risks. We've had operators who achieved success with just half that budget – but their journey was certainly more nerve-wracking as a result.

With our suggested budget, you'll also have some breathing space for trial and error as you kick off your venture. This kind of money allows for a smoother and less stressful launch – also increasing the chances of steady growth in the next season.

If you're interested in starting your own shared mobility venture, join our ATOM Academy for FREE to learn more and see if it's the right business for you.

If you'd like to explore the software costs in detail, schedule a demo with our team today.

Customizing the ATOM Mobility app – what are your options?Customizing the ATOM Mobility app – what are your options?
Customizing the ATOM Mobility app – what are your options?

Did you know the ATOM Mobility app is fully customizable to match your brand identity and market needs? Check out this article to learn about your tailoring options!

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One of the main advantages of using the ATOM Mobility software for your business are the generous customization options. You can tailor ATOM's robust solution to your brand's needs and requirements, allowing it to express your identity loud and clear. 

But, for mobility services, it's not just about company branding – it's also about adapting to the environment in which your service operates. The appearance, atmosphere, payment types, and incentives offered should be specifically tailored to align with the preferences and demands of the particular market.

Customization is crucial for business success, as it allows you to become recognizable and memorable and win the hearts of locals. So, how can you do that with the ATOM Mobility app? Is branding the only thing you can customize? Read on to find out!

Creating an app that speaks for you

ATOM Mobility makes app customization incredibly simple and efficient via a powerful operator's (that's you!) dashboard. Besides customization and setting configuration, the dashboard allows you to manage your fleet, team, and customer demands all in one place. You can track your vehicles in real-time, check out customer heat maps and analytics, and more.

But when it comes to the customization of your customer or rider app, here's an overview of all the things you can do to create a unique mobility solution.


Customizing the ATOM Mobility app starts with the obvious – adding your branding via the dashboard. That includes:

  • Adding your logo
  • Adding your specific color scheme
  • Adding your splash screen – the first graphical notification a user receives when opening any app
  • Tailoring icons – for example, how the vehicles will appear on the app's map
An app look

User tutorials

Adding customized user tutorials to your app will make life notably easier for users and your customer support as well. Users will have basic FAQs covered, and your customer support will have more time to deal with complex issues. 

An app tutorial screenshot

You can add boiled-down user tutorials on anything, and they'll appear in a special tutorials section on your app. Here's a list of commonly chosen user tutorials to inspire you:

  • How to unlock the vehicle and start the ride
  • How to end the ride and park the vehicle
  • How to know where you can park the vehicle
  • How to understand the app's color scheme of the parking zones
  • What are the good practices for riding
  • What are the main safety rules of the ride

Moreover, you can tailor user tutorials by adding images, short videos, and custom descriptions. You can also split each tutorial into several steps to make the information easier to digest. 

Pricing and special offers

The ATOM Mobility customer app offers a wide range of options for user pricing, allowing you to choose the best packages for your clientele. 

With the ATOM Mobility app, you can bill your users in three ways:

  • Direct payments via the user's payment card
  • Digital wallet-based payments
  • A hybrid of the two

Regarding the digital wallet, the top-up process is also customizable. You can pick the top-up amounts, set several top-up levels, or add an auto top-up option – i.e., if a user's digital wallet reaches X amount of money, it gets automatically topped up by Y amount. Moreover, you can set a minimum balance requirement for the digital wallet to avoid debtors.

Mobile app visual

Additionally, there are several options for calculating the ride's fee. You can:

  • Set the pricing per minute, hour, or day
  • Add a ride unlock fee – a certain amount charged when the user unlocks the vehicle
  • Add mileage-based pricing
  • Set a price for when the ride is paused, and more

What's also convenient – the ATOM Mobility app offers the option to add pre-paid subscription packages. There are daily, weekly, or monthly passes available, and you can assign a wide array of credits and deals to each package. For example, any of the app operator's vehicles available for use within the 30-day pass, ten vehicle unlocks + X ride minutes + Y pause minutes available within the daily pass, and more.

Mobile app visual

Another option available when customizing your app's pricing is setting discounts for vehicles that haven't been used for a certain number of hours. That way, you can promote a more even use of your vehicles. 

Parking zones

With ATOM Mobility, you can also customize the vehicle parking zones. This allows you to easily divide your city into areas that are yay or nay for vehicle parking – they'll appear green or red on the app.

Mobile app visual

Moreover, you can create the so-called bonus zones – if a vehicle is parked there, a user receives an X% discount on their ride. Adding bonus parking zones helps to incentivize vehicle parking in the “hotspots” of the city – beneficial from the business perspective.

Additionally, you can add paid parking zones where parking isn't forbidden, but the users are charged a certain amount if they park there. Again, this allows you to regulate where your vehicles are parked to get that business ball rolling. 

It's also possible to add speed limit zones to your solution to help the users follow the maximum allowed speed in the pedestrian zones. While speed limit compliance should come without saying, we all know that speeding occasionally happens, causing unnecessary traffic accident risks.

Customer support – just the way you want it

Excellent and convenient customer support is the next crucial thing for any well-functioning mobility app. With ATOM Mobility, you can add several customer support options to the app's section: 

  • A shortcut to the user tutorials section
  • Embedded FAQ section from your business website
  • Email communication – pop-up windows shortcutting to email
  • Direct calls communication – pop-up windows shortcutting to, e.g., Whatsapp calls, Messenger calls, regular phone calls
  • Live chat option with the native Intercom integration
Mobile app visual

Automated invoices with a twist

A useful feature offered by the ATOM Mobility software is automated invoices. Whenever users finish their ride, they receive an invoice in their inbox, with no manual work from your side. 

What is more, the invoices can be customized as well. You can add your branding – logo, color scheme – and tailor the invoice fields, adding the country's VAT, tax reporting requirements, and more.

Mobile app visual

Referral programs

It's no secret that referral programs can bring in new customers, increase customer loyalty, improve customer satisfaction, lower customer acquisition costs, and more. ATOM Mobility offers adding a referral program to your unique app so you can nab these and other benefits.

You can set up a promo code that your users can distribute to their friends, who will receive a bonus or a discount for their first ride. The promo code distributors will also receive a bonus in their digital wallet or a discount for their next ride after the newcomer completes their first ride. 

Mobile app visual

An extra module or two

With ATOM Mobility, you don't have to stick to one type of mobility service. You can – and you should – expand your business to other verticals whenever you see the possibility. 

That's why ATOM Mobility offers the option to place three business modules on your platform – vehicle sharing, ride-hailing, and digital rental. Expand your services, and become the go-to mobility platform of your city in no time.  

Building your mobility business with ATOM Mobility

Now that you know the main customization options that the ATOM Mobility app offers, your next step is to dive into crafting your personalized mobility solution. It won't take you heaps of time – we can launch your personalized software suite in as little as 20 days. Plus, 98% of the app customizations can be done via your app operator dashboard.

Our core, your values, and the best mobility solution for your city is born! 

ATOM Mobility introduces a loyalty module to their shared mobility platformATOM Mobility introduces a loyalty module to their shared mobility platform
ATOM Mobility introduces a loyalty module to their shared mobility platform

ATOM Mobility has introduced a new loyalty module to its white-label shared mobility platform. Users can now engage in fun challenges and earn rewards.

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Drumroll, please!

ATOM Mobility has taken user engagement to the next level with a new loyalty module. 

Users can now take part in exciting challenges and earn rewards upon completion. ATOM Mobility's integration of gamification into its platform aims to enhance the overall user experience – and offers a unique opportunity for operators to differentiate themselves from the competition.

Let's take a closer look at the opportunities and benefits of this new loyalty module.

The benefits of gamification

Gamification is a way of makings apps more fun and engaging by adding game-like elements. The idea is to give users a sense of accomplishment as they progress and complete tasks.

Popular examples of gamification in apps include:

  • Duolingo: This language learning app incorporates gamified elements such as levels, achievements, and a point system to make the learning process more enjoyable and engaging.
  • Fitbit: The app tracks users' physical activities and fitness goals while employing gamification elements like challenges, badges, and leaderboards to motivate users and create a sense of competition.
  • Headspace: This meditation app incorporates gamification through features like streak tracking and milestones, motivating users to establish a consistent meditation practice by providing rewards and a sense of accomplishment as they progress.

These apps offer solid proof that gamification strikes a chord with users. And now ATOM Mobility has taken the lead by introducing gamification to the white-label shared mobility industry for the first time. Why is it a big deal? 

Here are just a few benefits that gamification offers to your shared mobility business:

  • Enhanced user engagement: By introducing challenges, rewards, and interactive elements, users are motivated to actively participate in the app's offerings. The element of challenge and the desire to achieve milestones keeps users hooked and encourages them to explore other app features. This translates into increased usage of your app.
  • Improved user retention: Challenges, levels, and rewards foster a sense of progression and keep users coming back for more. The element of surprise and the anticipation of unlocking new features or rewards incentivize users to remain loyal to the app over time.
  • Data insights: Gamification allows operators to collect valuable data and insights into user behavior. By tracking user engagement, progress, and preferences within the game-like features, operators can get to know their customers better. This information can be used to personalize the user experience, creating challenges and rewards that cater to individual user preferences – thus encouraging even higher levels of engagement.

Drive user engagement with challenges

In order to activate the module, operators can contact their account manager at ATOM Mobility.

Once the loyalty module is enabled, operators gain access to a dashboard where they can create and configure a variety of challenges. Each challenge can be personalized with a title, a specific points-based goal, a duration, and an enticing reward upon completion – such as a discount for the next few rides. 

Operators can spice up the shared mobility platform by crafting multi-level challenges with step numbers. These steps set the sequence in which challenges appear, meaning users have to finish one step before unlocking the next challenge. This way, operators can inject some fun into the shared mobility experience – and keep users on their toes.

Customization and data insights

Operators can customize the loyalty module according to their preferences, for example:

  • Choose how many points users get for each ride 
  • Adjust the point calculation logic, e.g., you can exclude short rides (under 5 minutes) to prevent users from taking advantage of the system (contact the support team to do it!)
  • The length of challenges and whether they have multiple levels

When a user completes a challenge, the system notifies them of their achievement, and the user automatically receives the reward. If a challenge expires without the user earning the required points, the system resets the challenge, and the user can try again.

In the meantime, here's what data is available to operators:

  • User participation in specific challenges – see the total number of users who joined a particular challenge, the number of successful completions, and the number of participants still working on it.
  • Progress of each participant – this helps operators evaluate the module's effectiveness in engaging users and decide if any adjustments are needed to improve its performance.

Stand out from the competition with ATOM Mobility

The loyalty module presents an opportunity for shared mobility operators to distinguish themselves from industry giants by enhancing the "stickiness" of their solution. By integrating the loyalty module into their platform, operators can offer users incentives to stay connected – fostering a sense of loyalty and long-term engagement. 

Atom Mobility clients are already enjoying the advantages of the new module. As per Milad, the founder of Qick, "The setup process for the Loyalty model is simple and effortless, resulting in heightened customer engagement and increased rides. It serves as an excellent means to involve users in the brand."

The loyalty module introduces another dimension to the highly customizable white-label ATOM Mobility platform – with an added touch of fun.

Opportunity for local shared mobility solutions as Bird and struggle to turn a profitOpportunity for local shared mobility solutions as Bird and struggle to turn a profit
Opportunity for local shared mobility solutions as Bird and struggle to turn a profit

Shared micromobility giants Bird and face challenges in achieving profitability and are exiting markets. This presents an opportunity for local entrepreneurs to step in and fill the void.

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Shared mobility companies Bird and (formerly Helbiz) stormed onto the scene by introducing innovative and convenient transportation solutions, capturing the attention of urban dwellers worldwide. 

However, as the micromobility industry enters a more mature phase, companies like Bird and continue to grapple with obstacles when it comes to attaining financial stability. This has prompted them to reassess their excessively ambitious expansion strategies. 

What factors contribute to these challenges, and what implications does this hold for the industry as a whole? Could local micromobility ventures provide a superior solution to meet the increasing demand for these services? Let's delve further into the financial predicament of Bird and to gain a better understanding.

Bird: downsizing and struggles in the stock market

Established in 2017, Bird is a micromobility company that provides electric transportation solutions in the USA and Europe. Their range of shared vehicles includes e-scooters and e-bikes. The company also sells vehicles to distributors, retailers, and direct customers. With its headquarters located in Miami, Florida, Bird currently employs 425 individuals and operates in 105 cities. 

Recently, Bird's first-quarter 2023 financials revealed challenges in maintaining ridership and revenue. Despite implementing cost-cutting measures, the company's performance failed to convince investors of its ability to achieve profitability – the company's stock plummeted nearly 19% after announcing its first-quarter earnings.

In 2022, Bird faced a challenging year. The company announced plans to completely exit Germany, Sweden, and Norway, as well as wind down operations in numerous other markets, primarily small to mid-sized, across the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. They also reduced their staff by 23%.

Despite a positive revenue increase of 12.06% in 2022, the company faced substantial losses totaling $358.74 million, marking a significant 66.9% increase compared to 2021. The challenges continued in 2023 as Bird witnessed a decline in rides and deployed vehicles. With a net loss of $44.3 million recorded at the end of Q1 2023, it’s likely that the company will continue to downsize its operations. similar woes despite the acquisition of Wheels and rebranding

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in New York, delivers micromobility services in Italy, the United States, and Singapore (43 cities in total), which include e-scooters, e-bicycles, and e-mopeds. It also operates Helbiz Kitchen, a delivery-only ghost kitchen restaurant, and the Helbiz Live streaming platform. The company currently employs 284 people. 

In 2023, the company, formerly known as Helbiz, underwent a rebranding and transformed into Inc. This rebranding coincided with the plans to launch retail stores across the United States.

In 2022, successfully completed its acquisition of Wheels, a shared micromobility operator, along with promises to its investors that the merger would lead to a doubling of annual revenue and facilitate the path to profitability. The company set its sights on capitalizing on Wheels' extensive user base of 5 million riders and venturing into untapped markets.

Despite these hopes, experienced less than stellar financial results in 2022. The company achieved a revenue of $15.54 million, indicating a 21.07% growth compared to the previous year's $12.83 million. However, the company also incurred losses amounting to -$82.07 million, reflecting a 13.3% increase compared to 2021.

In 2023, announced a reverse stock split to meet Nasdaq Capital Market's minimum bid price requirement and make their common stock more attractive to investors. This move didn't come as a surprise, considering that the company received a delisting warning from Nasdaq in 2022. Coupled with its enduring track record of operating losses and negative cash flows over time, the overall outlook of the company's financial performance is rather discouraging.

Why are Bird and facing financial difficulties and exiting markets?

The difficulties faced by Bird and can be partly explained by their venture capital-backed business model. They witnessed swift expansion while hemorrhaging substantial amounts of money. And the more they expanded, the more money they bled. Now, it’s unsurprising to witness their heavily subsidized business models shifting their priorities from aggressive growth to mitigating losses and striving for profitability.

In recent years, there has been a surge in the popularity of shared mobility special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC). These companies are created solely for the purpose of raising capital through an initial public offering and have no commercial operations of their own. The ultimate goal of a SPAC is to acquire or merge with an existing company.

Financial struggles have become a common theme among shared mobility SPACs This can be attributed to the rush of companies going public without first establishing a sustainable business model – and Bird and are no exception to this trend. The challenges faced by these companies emphasize the significance of building a strong and viable foundation prior to entering the public market.

The relentless pursuit of expansion has proven to be an ineffective strategy. For instance, some experts suggest that Bird's decision to outsource its operations to franchises made it harder to persuade cities and secure contracts. Their emphasis on breadth rather than depth resulted in a lack of understanding regarding local communities and the nuances of local legislation. As a result, major players like Bird and have been withdrawing their fleets from “less profitable” cities.

The soaring shared micromobility market: a golden opportunity for local entrepreneurs

According to a McKinsey study, the shared micromobility market has the potential to reach a staggering $50 billion to $90 billion by 2030, with an estimated annual growth rate of approximately 40% between 2019 and 2030. By 2030, shared micromobility could constitute around 10% of the overall shared mobility market. 

In this context, the recent financial challenges faced by Bird and should not be seen as indicative of a bleak future for the entire industry. Instead, these setbacks highlight the inherent unsustainability of aggressive and expansive business models within the shared micromobility landscape. 

Local operators with smaller ground teams enjoy a notable edge over companies like Bird and By focusing on underserved markets and having an intimate understanding of their communities, these operators can deliver superior service while maintaining lower costs and stable profit margins. 

Returning to Bird's Q1 2023 financial report, they also reported 0.9 rides per deployed vehicle per day. Now, let's compare this figure to other operators. We conducted a survey involving two EU-based operators that make use of Atom Mobility: 

  • Operator 1: With a fleet of 4,000+ vehicles across over 10 cities, they recorded an average ride per vehicle of 0.9 in Q1 2023
  • Operator 2: Operating in a single city with a fleet of 200 vehicles, they achieved an average ride per vehicle of 2.7 in Q1 2023

As fleet sizes increase, the average ride per vehicle tends to decrease, as seen with Operator 1 and Bird. However, the figure from Operator 2 highlights the potential for local operators to thrive in underserved cities that larger shared mobility companies may neglect.

We have seen examples of this – Go Green City, a Swiss electric moped-sharing company, presently provides its services in Zurich and Basel. Their small, tightly-knit team prioritizes local knowledge, enabling them to operate with enhanced flexibility and agility – a level of service that larger companies like Bird or will find challenging to match. Overall, more than 100 projects have successfully launched their shared mobility ventures with Atom Mobility's assistance, operating in over 140 cities across the globe.

As the desire for shared micromobility services grows – with a focus on community safety and the ethical integration of these modes of transportation into the overall urban transit system – it seems that local operators have a distinct edge over large multinationals.

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