A kickstarted scooter is not necessarily be the first thing that comes to mind when we think about the internet or technological innovation, but British startup Scooterson has developed what can be considered a scooter for the modern era.
While explaining how a scooter works may seem unnecessary, this is not your typical ride. As explained in this video, the accompanying app starts up when the user is within activation range of the vehicle. As the user takes advantage of the app, it becomes aware of the person’s daily habits and, using motion-detection and algorithms, can offer a suggested path. Having decided on a path, the user can kick twice and then sit, in order to get going and shift up into 3rd gear. And then, once they arrive at their destination, they pull the brake lever to stop.
The makers of this scooter promote the fact that it does not require a kick-stand and can automatically lock, with users able to provide access to vehicle to their contacts, through the app. If the vehicle believes that an unauthorized rider is trying to gain access, it will lock the wheels and shoot off a notification to the user’s smartphone. And the app goes a step further, creating a power-train profile for guests, as well as the main user, by gathering information on their weight, riding patterns, and surrounding terrain. Other notable features include haptic feedback (to alert riders to the correct turns), adaptive lighting, automatic turn-lights, and smart power-management.
The scooter is available for retail, but only to those who hurry, as the company is currently accepting orders on an initial, 300-unit run. In order to purchase one, you will need to deposit $150 as part of the pre-order, which offers a discount of $750 when users go to pay for the vehicle on September 7th. And, one of the nice things here is that they offer free shipping to the U.S. and Europe when the vehicles are delivered.
CEO and co-founder Cristian Munteanu told me that they are accepting orders until the end of October and intend to ship in February 2017. However, Munteanu added that they will not officially launch until mid-January 2017, when they will present on-stage at CES Las Vegas. Prior to that even, they are planning a soft launch in Europe and Asia (Singapore) in mid-June (2016).
On the funding front, Munteanu says that they bootstrapped the process of building the prototypes, testing them, getting the proper certifications, patenting the IP, and making key hires, but now they are closing a seed round with VCs from Singapore and the United States and plan to complete a Series A early next year.