Micromobility’s next big opportunities

Launching and operating shared bikes and scooters has lost its novelty. Worldwide, numerous companies are operating shared micromobility services — so many that the industry is well into a consolidation phase.

In Latin America, Grow Mobility formed as part of a merger between micromobility providers Grin and Yellow. In the U.S., Bird acquired Scoot. And, while not a traditional consolidation, Lime and Uber have partnered to include Lime’s scooters within the Uber app.

Meanwhile, we now have a handful of players operating in the direct-to-consumer model; Unagi, Boosted and even Bird has started selling direct to consumers.

Despite the over-saturation of the market, there are still opportunities for new players. Currently, there are two key areas that have yet to see a lot of action and are therefore ripe for disruption.

Those opportunities include creating a software ecosystem on top of bikes and scooters and improving unit economics by focusing on batteries.

As you may remember, business and mobility analyst Horace Dediu recently told me these micromobility vehicles have an opportunity to also be software hubs. In fact, he said it’s where he expects bigger players like Google and Apple to enter the space.

Already, at least one startup is taking steps to become the operating system for micromobility vehicles. Tortoise, a startup founded by former Uber executive Dmitry Shevelenko, is pursuing autonomous repositioning of scooters.