The product is banned in some cities. The company is valued at $2 billion


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The age of scooter sharing is upon us

Scooter rental startup Chook Rides is now valued at $2 billion after a latest $300 million funding spherical, in response to a supply near the matter.

That is a quick rise for the Los Angeles-based firm, which launched its first scooter pilot program in Santa Monica, California, final September. It now operates scooter shares in 22 US cities.

“The buyers love the expansion … and the numbers, however I believe in addition they just like the mission of Chook,” stated CEO and founder Travis Vanderzanden informed CNNMoney. “Individuals have been looking for methods to get People out of automobiles for a very long time, and we predict Chook can have a huge impact.”

The scooters, which may go as much as 15 miles per hour, give metropolis residents another commuting choice. The scooters, rented by way of an app, value $1 to unlock and about $zero.15 to trip per minute. They function on the identical lithium ion batteries that cell telephones and tablets use.

Associated: Uber and Lyft wish to be about a lot greater than automobiles

Bird scooter
An electrical scooter belonging to the Chook firm is ready for a rider on a road of downtown Washington, DC.

“What we discovered over time is that individuals are not solely having enjoyable on Birds and utilizing them to discover cities, however they’re truly utilizing them to commute to and from work,” stated Vanderzanden, who was as soon as the COO of Lyft and later a VP of progress at Uber.

However not everyone seems to be onboard with the electrical scooter craze. Scooter startups like Chook enable riders to park them wherever that does not block pedestrian walkways. Nevertheless, residents in cities resembling Los Angeles say they usually litter sidewalks and pose a hazard to pedestrians. On Instagram, #ScootersBehavingBadly showcases photographs of electrical scooters blocking visitors and parked on prime of metropolis benches.

Some cities like San Francisco and Denver have even banned them till new regulation is handed. Vanderzanden stated he believes the scooters must be regulated, too.

Associated: Self-driving automobiles. Scooters. The way forward for commuting to work is right here

“We wish to work with cities and determine it out,” stated Chook’s Vanderzanden. “It has been arduous for [cities] to see this wave of electrical scooters coming and so there’s actually not numerous legal guidelines across the electrical scooters but. We’re truly supportive of regulation.”

Though Chook was among the many first scooter share firms to market, it faces rising competitors from firms resembling San Francisco-based Lime, which operates scooter and bikeshare packages in 70 cities. On Monday, Uber introduced it’s partnering with Lime to supply scooter leases inside its app.

In the meantime, Lime put a whole bunch of the scooters on the streets of Paris final month.

“The numbers have been loopy [in] the primary few days,” stated Arthur-Louis Jacques, the top of Lime in France. “We put a number of hundred scooters, and it isn’t sufficient. We have to [add] extra as a result of individuals are searching for them.”

Lime stated a million folks within the US already use its bike and electrical scooter sharing companies. The corporate raised $135 million from buyers since its launch a 12 months and a half in the past, in response to Jacques. He declined to share Lime’s valuation.

Associated: Self-driving automobiles. Scooters. The way forward for commuting to work is right here

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo accredited Lime’s scooter operation within the metropolis, so long as riders keep on the highway or metropolis bike lanes.

“For the second, the scooters that I see are correctly parked,” she stated. “I’ve but to see any scooters on the sidewalks.”

She emphasised how this correct use is essential to creating the scooter system work in Paris.

“If there have been any [on sidewalks], they might be sanctioned,” she stated. “You do not have the proper to trip on the sidewalks and to dam the motion of pedestrians.”

CNNMoney (New York) First printed July 9, 2018: 12:45 PM ET

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