Ford purchased electric scooter company, Spin, for $100 million in an attempt to compete with the likes of Uber and Lift in the short distance mobility sector of transportation. Ford committed to a $200 million investment in the startup as the company plans to help customers get to places more quicker, and more cost effectively. Ford claims it was drawn to Spin’s affordability and accessibility, which includes short-distance transportation options.
Founded in 2016, Spin has raised roughly $8 million in capital. Spin started as a bike-share company, but moved to rental scooters this year. The startup charges $1 to rent a scooter and 15 cents per minute of use, giving customers cheaper options to get around. Recently, stand-up electric scooters have become a very popular transportation option. Companies that rent scooters via apps, such as Lime and Bird, have valuations ranging in the hundreds of millions of dollars. The number of mobility options available to people has risen dramatically in recent years. In some situations, people use multiple forms of transportation during a single trip. The fast-paced mobility sector requires businesses to keep up with the latest transportation trends, and one that can adapt to customer’s needs. For now, Spin operates in nine cities, including Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, and Long Beach, as well as five college campuses. The acquisition by Ford will likely see the company bring its scooters to more cities. Spin will operate as a stand-alone business with Ford Smart Mobility and will expand quickly into 100 cities over the next 18 months.