GOAT launches electric scooters in Austin

Dockless electric scooter company GOAT has launched in Austin after receiving official permits from the city’s transportation department for its pilot program. Unlike what’s happened in San Francisco with startups Bird, Lime and Spin, GOAT says it wants to work in tandem with city officials in Austin. GOAT is currently bootstrapped, but says it plans to continue partnering with local cities to launch its electric scooter service across the nation.

GOAT has permission to launch up to 500 scooters as part of the pilot program, but is currently incrementally deploying scooters 20 at a time. The company tells TechCrunch it’s also working with other cities in pursuing permits in multiple areas.

“In April we watched two California-based companies enter our market, ignore the balance, and exploit the policies and patience of our local city government but today we’re thankful for the due diligence the City of Austin put into place to ensure dockless mobility is a viable option to support their long-term objectives that we’ve worked to support,” GOAT CEO Michael Schramm said in a statement. “Since the City of Austin’s rules were established our team has worked tirelessly to prepare for a launch in our city that meets all of the criteria set forth by the ordinance for dockless mobility.”

Similar to other scooter services, GOAT costs $1 to ride and 15 cents for every minute. GOAT says it also works to educate users around rider safety, red zones and local parking rules. GOAT also offers free helmets to “active” riders, according to its website. And, for those of you wondering, GOAT is indeed going for “greatest of all time.”

“Every time you ride GOAT, we want it to lead you to the best the city has to offer, so each experience with GOAT has the opportunity to be the greatest of all time,” GOAT CMO and co-founder Jennie Whitaker said in a press release. “Coming into the market during the ‘wild west’ of electric scooters is an adventure on its own, so focusing on what makes us unique will guide our brand. By combining our tech competencies with a sincere desire to do good for the people and communities we serve, we look forward to the places GOAT will go as we help solve short distance transportation issues with integrity.”

For reference, here’s how GOAT stacks up to other scooter companies in terms of financing.