If you’ve noticed (or ridden!) these bright orange electric scooters in certain Australian and New Zealand cities, you’re going to be noticing even more very soon.
Neuron Mobility, the company that operates the e-scooter rideshare network to bring sustainable last mile transport options to the people, has raised $A17 million to go towards launch e-scooters in five more Australian cities, and also in the UK.
Led by investment firm Square Peg – which has also backed Canva and Fiverr to name a few – along with GSR Ventures, the funding round will help the e-mobility company expand its footprint as well as create up to 400 new jobs.
Zachary Wang, Neuron Mobility’s CEO, said in a note by email that, “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.
“This presents a great opportunity for micromobility providers. Our experience of operating in Australia, combined with fresh funding, will help us accelerate our growth across the region and beyond.”
Singapore-based Neuron already operates 4,000 e-scooters in Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Canberra and Townsville as well as in Auckland, New Zealand.
The new funding, which raises Neuron Series A funding to $A43.2 million in total, will see a further five new Australian cities added to its operations.
“Cities are increasingly open to micromobility — in the last two weeks we have opened in Canberra and Townsville in Australia, and have announced our first location in the UK — the time is right to export our know-how to new cities across the globe.”
Neuron has named Slough, the largest industrial centre outside London, as the first UK location for launch.
“Our approach has always been to partner with cities and to adapt to meet their needs – this has led to quite a few world firsts and innovations,” says Wang.
Neuron Mobility says its scooters have been built with rider safety foremost in mind. In addition to introducing “helmet lock” to secure helmets in between trips, it says it was the first e-scooter company to implement geofencing, add swappable batteries to speed recharging, and voice guidance systems to encourage riders to use the e-scooters safely.
It also uses a “topple detection” feature that alerts Neuron team members to reposition the e-scooters quickly, and has a 000 emergency call button that riders can use if they have a fall. A “follow my ride” feature also allows family members to keep track of loved ones.
Wang says that Neuron has even more in store for future feature releases.
“We strive to lead the industry when it comes to safety and sustainable operations and have a whole host of exciting new features in the pipeline that we’ll be rolling out soon,” he says.
Square Peg partner Tushar Roy said in a statement that Neuron is all about innovation and collaboration.
“The company continues to create new technology solutions to address the transport challenges of individual cities, and they work closely with councils to implement them in a way that drives better outcomes for the public,” he says.
“This approach has seen Neuron introduce a number of world-firsts, cementing them as an industry leader.”
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.