Ford has joined the rapidly growing scooter market with the acquisition of Spin, a San Francisco-based electric scooter-sharing company that provides customers with an alternative for first and last-mile transportation.
The American carmaker didn’t disclose the value of the deal but it said the acquisition of Spin is the latest strategic move by Ford in the mobility space, as the company builds a portfolio to help customers get to places more easily, more quickly and less expensively.
Founded in 2016 Spin is a leading micro-mobility service provider with operations in 13 cities and campuses across the U.S.
Using a Spin electric scooter costs $1 to rent and 15 cents per minute. Research shows that nearly half of all trips made in the U.S. are 3 miles or less, according to “The Micro-Mobility Revolution,” a report by Populus.
Shared electric scooters are booming up across the U.S and scooter rental companies like Lime and Bird have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. Many are looking for new funding rounds with high valuations, which has caused even ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft to jump into the fray.
In July, Uber invested in U.S-based transport startup LimeBike’s $335 million funding round and announced that it will add scooters to its diverse range of transport options that are available on demand. Rival Lyft launched a scooter rental program last September.
“As more people consider scooters to be a viable mobility option, now is the right time for Ford to work closely with Spin’s highly experienced and dedicated team to help expand their service to more cities," said Sunny Madra, Vice President of Ford X.
Ford X is a division within Ford Smart Mobility that was created earlier this year to quickly build, acquire and pilot new transportation products and services.
Ford is focused on developing more hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, as well as self-driving vehicles, which they plan to launch at scale by 2021.
Another critical component of their mobility strategy is to develop a comprehensive set of software and services designed to better enable vehicle connectivity and utilization, as well as new mobility experiences and multimodal transportation solutions.