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The Next Chapter for Spin
June 21, 2021
Spin entered shared micromobility in 2017 with a scrappy fleet of orange bikes for rent in Seattle. We were 10 people at the time working out of a small office in an apartment building in San Francisco, some of us former government transportation officials and operations experts, others simply passionate about more equitable, sustainable, and fun ways of getting around.
Since then, our company has grown from 10 people to nearly 1,000 people, managing electric micromobility programs in nearly 100 cities and campuses around the world. Through it all, we have remained committed to doing what we say we will as outlined in our Partnership Promise. Our city and campus partners can rely on us to play by the rules instead of only doing so only when it’s convenient. For instance, in Chicago, a Santa Monica-based e-scooter operator received 250 violations from the City for being out of compliance with city regulations. Spin -- which had the same number of vehicles on the streets -- only received one over the course of the program.
Looking ahead, today is Day 1 of my tenure as CEO of Spin. I’m excited to share an updated mission statement and our plan for growing Spin. Our new approach is a refinement of the city friendly approach we’ve taken since the beginning built on the legacy of our founders Derrick, Zaizhuang, and Euwyn.
Spin’s new mission is to create a world full of 15-minute cities.
The objective of a 15-minute city is to make it easy for anyone to access all the elements of their life -- work, home, leisure, and family or friends -- by traveling 15 minutes or less to each destination, through a combination of reliable public transport and shared public or private mobility. We are focused on making it as convenient for anyone in a city or campus we serve to get around without a car as it is with a car.
While this sounds lofty in the context of car-centric culture and infrastructure, we have seen dramatic change to our transportation habits and our streets over the past year. At Spin, we think now is the perfect time to make big strides towards a world of 15-minute cities. To help us get there, I’m proud to share the five pillars of our plan for growing Spin.
Be the #1 choice for cities and campuses
In micromobility, cities and campuses decide who gets to operate through competitive permit processes. Over the past year we have seen the share of our markets that are limited vendor or exclusive rise from 38 percent to 74 percent. Since 2019, in the U.S., we’ve won 85 percent of new markets we compete for and retained 93 percent of markets.
In 2021, being a great partner is necessary but not sufficient if Spin wants to remain the #1 choice of cities. That’s why we are making big bets on technology innovation that benefits cities. One example is our exclusive partnership with Drover AI which uses computer vision technology to identify in real time whether a scooter is on the bike, sidewalk, or properly parked. This helps us make micromobility safer for all pedestrians and reinforces good rider behavior.
Own the Bike Lane
We are focused on building world class vehicles for the bike lane, not trying to be all things for all people. You won’t see Spin launching car sharing or flying taxis anytime soon. Instead, we are focused on building world class micromobility vehicles that give riders a choice of options so they can pick the one that best fits their need for a particular trip -- an e-bike with a basket for a grocery run or a scooter to the train station or a three-wheeled scooter for someone who is less comfortable balancing on two wheels. Later this week, we’ll be rolling out our first custom scooter and we’re confident it’s the toughest micromobility vehicle ever built.
Run an affordable and reliable service that keeps people coming back
We are focused on increasing utilization by building a service that truly meets people’s last mile transportation needs at an affordable price. We are pioneering new pricing and packaging offers to make micromobility more affordable and accessible. In Grand Rapids, we rolled out a fully subsidized program in partnership with the city and local foundations to offer free access to our fleet of vehicles.
Today it’s still too difficult to find a shared scooter in many of our markets. Later this year we will be rolling out an industry first scooter hailing pilot that will make it possible for the first time ever to call a scooter to your door with Spin Valet. If the pilot is successful, riders won’t have to worry about hunting down a scooter, it will be there waiting for them.
Empower markets with tools for success
One thing that separates us from many of our competitors is our commitment to running our markets ourselves. We trust our local market managers to know what is best in their markets and are focused on empowering them with helpful tools that make their lives easier. One example is through our partnership with Zoba. We are leveraging their machine learning algorithms to continuously improve our scooter deployment and rebalancing tools. This helps our team make sure we put scooters in the right place at the right time.
Build a company that reflects the communities and riders we serve
Unlike competitors who use gig workers or confusing franchise models, we believe in good paying jobs for employees that represent the diverse communities we operate in and the world we live in. We continue to build an inhouse operations team in a majority of our markets, meaning that they abide by rigorous training protocols and have consistency in operations. Most importantly, we pay fair wages, provide benefits including healthcare, and give tenure based pay increases.
If we can stay focused on our mission and execute the five pillars of our plan, the future of Spin is bright. See you in the bike lane!