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Micromobility operator Veo raises $16M to fund U.S. growth

Shared micromobility operator Veo has raised $16 million in new funding as the corporate ramps up its growth plans in america. The Sequence A funding spherical, which follows allow awards in Santa Monica, San Diego and New York, will probably be used to develop Veo’s fleet and deal with creating metropolis and neighborhood partnerships.

Veo, which was based in 2017, has sought enterprise funding a bit later within the sport than different micromobility firms. Veo’s co-founder and CEO Candice Xie has been vocal about making a sustainable enterprise mannequin that’s worthwhile by itself earlier than searching for exterior funding, which the corporate says it’s accomplished. However as Veo expands its footprint, it wants the extra funds to buy the autos essential to deploy in new markets, in keeping with the corporate. 

“We need to ensure now we have very high-quality autos as properly as a result of automobile depreciation value is a big think about unit economics, and now we have an excellent management of that,” Edwin Tan, co-founder and president of Veo, instructed TechCrunch. “By leveraging our design and provide chain, we need to present that we will proceed to develop top quality, long-lasting autos.”

Fowl, Lime and Veo chosen for NYC e-scooter pilot

The corporate, which has at all times designed and manufactured its personal electrical scooters and bikes somewhat than partnering with a producer, lately rolled out its newest Astro 4, which Tan stated can final about three years. Veo’s earlier automobile era can final two years.

New options on the automobile can assist enormously cut back operational prices and assist customers get extra for his or her cash, stated Tan. The Astro 4 is the primary shared e-scooter with flip alerts, in keeping with Veo. It should additionally characteristic a brand new lighting characteristic that asks passerby to “Please choose me up” on the underside of the board if knocked over — an effort to alert individuals with disabilities to the presence of the scooter whereas fixing the general public nuisance drawback. A brighter headlight, decklight and taillight have additionally been added together with and different options like improved suspension and IoT will probably be useful in conserving prices down, Tan stated.

“We’re increasing out R&D price range,” stated Tan. “We need to ensure we will create new know-how or a brand new product that may resolve for brand new type components. We imagine this business continues to be very early, and suppose we will create extra type components and actually change how individuals transfer round with completely different autos. That unmet demand is basically essential for us.”

Veo averages one new automobile every year, in keeping with Tan. The corporate plans to launch a brand new automobile within the first quarter of 2022 that can resolve for the “winter drawback” and overcome the seasonality of rides. The corporate stated it already has an answer for that however isn’t able to share extra particulars. 

Veo additionally desires to deal with the wants of people that don’t really feel protected or comfy driving a stand-up kick scooter or a motorcycle. Veo’s Cosmo mannequin, which is a sit-down scooter design, is an instance of the corporate’s try to fulfill that demand. Veo plans to supply further fashions which are accessible to a wider vary of individuals, a transfer that aligns with requests from cities. 

The funding spherical was led by Autotech Ventures, with participation from UP Companions, FJ Labs and Interaction Ventures.

Veo CEO Candice Xie has a plan for constructing a sustainable scooter firm, and it’s working