Tokyo-based Luup to more than double shared e-scooters, e-bikes – MovieUpdates

Shared micromobility company Luup has raised $8 million (1 billion yen) in debt and asset financing to meet growing demand from Japan’s micromobility market, which, according to a recent report, is expected to reach $11.6 billion by 2030, up from $4 billion by 2030. 39.4 million in 2020 .

According to CEO Daiki Okai, Luup will use the proceeds to expand its service to cities across the country, targeting both large and small tourist cities as international travel picks up again. Okai wouldn’t specify which cities Luup hopes to expand to, but he did say the company would more than double its fleet in the next month.

Founded in 2018, Luup rolled out its fleet of shared e-scooters in April 2021 and shared e-bikes in May 2020. Okai told MovieUpdates it had a total of more than 2,000 e-scooters and e-bikes by February 2022, a number that should reach about 5,000 by mid-May.

Currently serving Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto and Yokohama, the company uses a slightly different business model than other international players in shared micromobility.

Luup’s vehicles don’t have a dock, but they don’t float around freely. It is illegal to park vehicles anywhere in Japan, so like other micromobility companies, Luup relies on a system of gates, which delegated parking spaces for the startup’s vehicles. Luup’s app allows riders to check available ports in real time to reserve an available port.

The company has a total of 1,100 ports in Japan, but won’t share how many ports it plans to set up for itself in the coming months. Securing those spaces represents a unique kind of land grab for micro-mobility companies in Japan.

“Given the social and legal constraints, it is impossible to share e-scooters in a dockless model in Japan,” Okai said. “You would have to have a certain number of ports in the city to start the business. The available land is limited and we are doing everything we can to secure as much land as possible now.”

Japan is working on easing regulations for e-scooters. Currently, e-scooter drivers must have a driver’s license and limit the speed limit to 15 km/h. In March, a bill to amend the Road Traffic Act was introduced to Japan’s parliament, the National Diet, to allow e-scooter users to drive without a permit at a maximum top speed of 20 kilometers per hour, Okai said.

Luup competes with global and local micro-mobility startups such as Mobby Ride, Lime, EXx, Bird Rides Japan and Hasegawa Kogyo.

The startup’s final funding comes eight months after the company raised a $16 million Series C share round.

The new capital, bringing Luup’s total financing to approximately $37 million (yen 4.6 billion), was led by Japan Finance Corporation, a Japanese government-backed financial institution, Mitsubishi HC Capital, and Sumitomo Mitsui Finance Leasing.

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