Travel & Mobility Tech Radar

Hey there!

Let's jump right into the struggle of short-distance mobility: many startups are working on reducing inner-city private car usage. However, it’s hard for a single alternate mode of transportation to compete with the comfort and reliability of the personal car as no individual mode is ideal for every situation.

Ultimately, multiple different modes - from public transit, bike and scooter sharing to car-hailing, walking (and ultimately on-demand air taxis) - need to work together to get people out of their cars. One exciting use case is currently 'on the road' in San Francisco: Uber users can choose seamlessly between the two different mobility modes “car” and “e-bike” within the app since February.

Initial usage data indicates how the two different modes can successfully complement each other. Uber's e-bikes take usage away from cars in short distances BUT drive overall utilization of the service:

- Overall trip frequency (car + e-bike) grew by 15% after users had their first e-bike ride
- E-bike usage was particularly popular during congested periods (e.g. rush hour)
- Car usage maintained the preferred option during nights and heavy rainfall 

Time to shed more light on the various transportation modes in today's newsletter. Enjoy!

Lennart Dobravsky
Trend & Market Research Analyst

Startup Radar

Nextbike — (Bike) Sharing Is Caring

The global bike-sharing boom with countless providers has been flooding the streets of today’s metropoles. But did you know that one of the pioneers and hidden champions in bike-sharing actually comes from good old Germany? 
 Check out the full analysis
Expert Radar

Making Sense of the E-scooter Hype

Electric scooter startups have been the big winners in Travel & Mobility Tech of 2018 so far. Investors are driving valuations up to unprecedented levels. Check out the history of recent funding rounds raised by the three leading players in this space:
In our previous newsletter edition, we visualized the mind-blowing speed at which frontrunner Bird was able to reach the prestigious unicorn status (meaning a company valuation of at least $1 billion). In fact, no startup before was able to accomplish this milestone faster than Bird. Ever. It took Bird 15 months since the company was founded and they just announced their first pilot project in Europe

Read our exclusive rapid-fire Q&A with Christian Miele, Partner at, one of the investors participating in Bird’s latest $300 million funding round.
LIH: Why did you invest in Bird despite the high valuation?

Christian Miele: Bird is one of the fastest growing start-ups we have ever seen with an incredibly talented founder. Looking at the company’s growth potential, we are confident that Bird's valuation will be more than justified. The fact that the Who’s Who of the international investor scene is also putting its money into Bird proves that there is a consensus in the VC industry about Bird’s potential.
LIH: Where exactly will e-scooters fit into the inner-city mobility chain? There are now several bike rental companies, car sharing services, ride pooling and ride-hailing options...
Christian Miele: Bird's "E-Floaters" or "E-Scooters" are the easiest and fastest way we know of to cover short distances of up to 5 km – it’s also the most fun and will make our city’s cleaner! In our opinion, many other services also make sense for customers, but from a bird's eye perspective, we see Bird as the best way to create convenient point-to-point mobility that is unbeatable in flexibility, price, speed, and enjoyment.
LIH: At the moment, an e-scooter service à la Bird is not allowed in Germany. Is this expected to change?
Christian Miele: In reading the current law drafts of the European Union and Germany, we are confident that it will. Bird is a great product that consumers have already embraced elsewhere. We will do everything we can to find a sensible way forward together with legislators in Germany.
Trend Radar

China First

China’s internet industry is arguably the most exciting across the globe these days (and one of the reasons why we decided to expand to Asia). A new report by 500 Startups, Abacus and South China Morning Post shows why. Be ready for some side-to-side comparisons of China and the U.S.:
Although China’s internet penetration is just over 50%, its sheer scale means there are 3x the number of smartphone users and 11x the number of mobile payment users in China than in the US.
What's really useful about the report is a diagram of leading Internet players and how Chinese and American brands stack up in search, shopping, payments, ride-sharing, messaging and other leading tech sectors. Take a detailed look here - but be prepared, it’s a 97-pager.
Yes, that is a looooong report and we know you’re busy. So to save you some time, we summarized two of the four overarching trends that characterize China’s tech market of today.

Trend #1: Chinese Internet Giants Are Doing Everything
China tech trio Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, collectively known as “BAT”, are expanding their businesses to every corner from retail to fintech. Whether it’s building or investing/acquiring, the big three are increasingly present across the entire internet ecosystem.
Trend #2: Chinese Internet Empowers Rural Population
The number of rural internet users in China reached 209 million in 2017 with a penetration rate of 35%. The Internet has contributed significantly to the development of e-commerce, education, and media in rural China.
Press Radar

Our Recommended Must Reads 

SEAMLESS GROUND-TO-AIR TRAVEL EXPERIENCE – On-demand helicopter provider Voom and ride-hailing startup Cabify join forces in Mexico City to give passengers the most convenient travel experience.
 Read more in MEDIUM
AIRCRAFT DATA OWNERSHIP – Who owns the terabytes of data collected by the thousands of sensors in today’s most modern commercial airplanes?
 Read more in WELT
PAYMENT INNOVATION IN TRAVEL – Travel companies are slow to invest in payment innovation despite demand from consumers for wider options.
 Read more in PhocusWire
Funding Radar

Most Recent Venture Capital Deals

Dearcc – a China-based electric vehicle manufacturer raised $294M in pre Series A funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in China Money Network – a China-based smart navigation software provider raised $80M in Series A funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in China Money Network

Secret Escapes– a London-based members-only travel booking platform raised $67M in funding from Old Mutual Global Investors.
 Read in SKIFT

Divvy – a Utah-based expense management platform raised $35M in Series B funding from Pelion Venture Partners, Joshua James and other undisclosed investors.
 Read in SKIFT

Immotor – a Shenzhen-based electric scooter manufacturer raised $15M in Series A funding from Hyundai Motor.
 Read in China Money Network

ZenRooms – a Singapore-based mobile hotel booking platform raised $15M in funding from Yanolja.
 Read in Tech in Asia

Shuttl – an India-based application based minibus service raised $11M in Series B funding from Amazon, Dentsu Ventures, Times Internet, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital India.
 Read in Tech in Asia

StreetLight Data – a San Francisco-based big-data analytics platform for travel patterns raised $10M in Series B funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in MoneyMakingArticles

Silence – a Barcelona-based e-scooter manufacturer raised $10M in funding from Caixa Capital Risc, Repsol New Energy Ventures and AVANÇSA.
 Read in Novobrief

Fast Cities – an Australia-based electric vehicle fast charging network raised $7M in funding from St Baker’s Energy Innovation Fund.
 Read in Reneweconomy

ParkCloud – a Manchester-based developer of an online parking reservation platform raised $5.24M in funding from Mercia Technologies.
 Read in FINSMES

Cozystay – a Vancouver-based vacation rental platform for Chinese travelers raised $4M in Seed funding from undisclosed investors.
 Read in FINSMES

Xwing – a San Francisco-based developer of autonomous flight technology raised $4M in Seed funding from Eniac Ventures, Array Ventures and other investors.
 Read in TechCrunch

SpotAngels – a San Francisco-based designer of a car parking application raised $2.3M in funding from Streamlined Ventures, Y Combinator, Via ID and other investors.
 Read in TechCrunch

CheckMyBus – a Germany-based app for bus routes and schedules information raised $1.84M in Series A funding from Marchmont Ventures.
 Read in PhocusWire

Trell – a Bengaluru-based provider of a travel video blogging app raised $1.52M in Seed funding from Beenext Ventures, WEH Ventures, Sprout Venture Partners and other undisclosed investors.
 Read in WIT
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