We’re giving people in American cities an easier way to get around town.
Starting first in Seattle, Spin will deploy GPS-enabled smart-bikes that can be used for a dollar and parked anywhere responsible, including ordinary bike racks. Today, we’re pleased to announce our $8M Series A led by the fine folks at Grishin Robotics, who share our vision of a smarter future for cities.
Spin began as a casual thought experiment. How could I get around (and out of) SOMA cheaper and quicker? When SOMA’s last McDonald’s shuttered at the end of last year, this thought occupied my mind. McD’s, much to my doctor’s chagrin, was my go-to spot to grab quick bites, sometimes multiple times a day. Clearly, Uber-ing to or getting delivery from the next closest location made no economic sense — there was a pain point to be solved.
As a pre-Uber San Francisco resident, I remember how things changed when Uber came along. Still, with rideshare, there’s a wait involved, an occasional game of hide-and-seek with a driver, and a bill that racks up steadily as short rides accumulate.
“Bikes will eat cars,” says one prominent transportation analyst. I can’t attest to their appetite, but bikes sure are a great way to get around cities. There’s no stress involved in parking, you’re not trapped in a cocoon, and you’re free to hop off anywhere along the way. Owning a bike, however, involves its own set of stresses, from maintenance to theft. Owning a bike also means one-way trips are out of the question, or at least impractical. Bikeshare systems, like Bay Area Bikeshare, have been around for a bit, but station-based systems frustrate me to no end because I could only end trips at fixed station locations. Our GPS-enabled IoT smart-locks, mounted onto the bikes themselves, relieve this pain point.
As soon as I realized that we had the technology to make stationless bikeshare possible at scale, many things clicked: If there were bikes outside my apartment that I could use cheaply at any time and park anywhere, my “personal mobility radius” would increase by, say, a factor of 10. If there were bikes everywhere in a city, I’d enjoy this benefit all the time.
Of course, we don’t just move around town for food. Getting to work, meeting friends, or just getting out and doing things — these are all important, everyday aspects of urban life, and we’re looking to help with all of the this by providing a more affordable, more accessible means of personal mobility.
I’m excited to be working with my co-founders Derrick and Zhuang, along with an incredible team whose experience spans Y Combinator, Lyft, Uber, Airbnb, Sprig, and even the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to address challenges in technology, operations, and public policy. At SXSW in Austin this year, we were the first company to launch a stationless bikeshare system in the US, and we were also the first to sign an agreement with a US city. With this Series A, we’ll be growing our team rapidly and launching in several new cities this summer.
What to join Spin? We’re looking for great engineers, designers, and operators to join our HQ team, as well as city GMs and associates everywhere across the US.
Drop me a line at email@example.com or check out our jobs page.