Superpedestrian To Cease U.S. Operations And Explore Sale Of European Business


Superpedestrian, the e-scooter startup, is set to cease its U.S.-based shared scooter operation by December 31. The company is also considering the sale of its European business. This decision was confirmed by the company’s director of U.S. operations, Alexander Berg, during a recent team meeting. The shutdown is attributed to financial reasons, with Berg mentioning that even the company’s investors had contributed funds to sustain its operations until this point.

Key Takeaway

Superpedestrian, a prominent e-scooter startup, is ceasing its U.S. operations due to financial challenges and considering the sale of its European business. The company’s decision has significant implications for its employees and the future of its advanced technological initiatives.

Financial Challenges and Recent Developments

The shutdown comes after 18 months since the company secured $125 million in a Series C round of financing. Despite the substantial investment from backers such as Jefferies, Antara Capital, the Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, and FM Capital, along with existing supporters like Spark Capital, General Catalyst, and Citi via the Citi Impact Fund, the e-scooter industry has faced significant challenges. This includes the decline in Bird’s valuation post its public listing, prompting the company to withdraw from several markets. Superpedestrian itself has undergone multiple layoffs, with the most recent one occurring earlier this month.

Operational Changes and Impact on Employees

Superpedestrian plans to retain minimal staff while recalling scooters from various locations across the U.S. back into warehouses over the next two weeks. The company’s senior director of human resources for the U.S., Vanessa Carmack, expressed her frustration and sense of being uninformed about the situation during the team meeting. CEO Assaf Biderman, who initially announced the decision in a brief call with some employees, has not yet provided further comments on the matter.

Technological Differentiation and Future Plans

Superpedestrian had aimed to set itself apart from competitors like Bird and Tier through its advanced technology, particularly its diagnostic and safety software. The company’s acquisition of Navmatic in July 2021 was a part of its efforts to enhance its technological capabilities. It had intended to deploy a pedestrian defense safety system, leveraging Navmatic’s technology, to detect and address unsafe riding behaviors in real time. The company had ambitious plans to introduce new scooters equipped with this safety feature across cities in the U.S. and Europe in 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *