United Arab Emirates-based shared micromobility operator Fenix is expanding the use of its electric scooters and back-end logistics to not only move people, but also to move goods. On Tuesday, the company announced the launch of a 10-minute fresh grocery delivery service on the dense, mixed-use Reem Island off the coast of Abu Dhabi.
Fenix’s new service, the F10, will use available vehicles from the operator’s common shared fleet for delivery. Delivery riders will also be considered a shared resource with Fenix’s e-scooter service, which alternates between making faster deliveries and swapping out batteries. The company is building a unified platform for fleet and services management.
The shared e-scooter business is still new and has yet to be incredibly profitable for existing operators due in large part to the vehicles’ short life expectancy and the cost of paying workers to swap batteries. According to the market research and advisory company, Fenix’s expanded business model is a novel way to make the most of the sunk costs of its hardware and employee base, with the company expected to grow to approximately $632 billion over the next three years. technavio.
Logically speaking, Fenix could be onto something. According to Jaideep Dhanoa, co-founder and CEO of Fenix, its “dark stores,” or compact, private retail facilities, are scattered around Reem Island in customized locations, each with a large catchment area within a narrow distribution radius. Comes. Dhanoa did not specify how many dark stores the company has across the island.
“For Fenix, the Dark Store is also a distributed charging center for our swappable battery e-scooter operations, which allows us to share the cost of real estate between the two businesses and our e-scooters through more distributed charging locations. Increases operational productivity. ”, Dhanoa said.
Dhanoa said Fenix’s full-time employees, who are all stakeholders of the company, are trained to accept, pick up and pack items for delivery to dark stores within two minutes, who have the goods relayed to a rider. who has only eight minutes to make it. customer. No stressful situation at all! It wouldn’t be surprising to see Fenix’s next funding round focus on R&D for robots that will assemble groceries faster and without the pressure of human error.
Such quick deliveries could not have been made without the urban density that largely drove Fenix to the island of Ream. The small island, which is one of the only free areas in the city where foreign nationals can buy property, holds a residential population of about 100,000 people. Dhanoa said the island also offers several use cases in the form of residential and commercial towers and shopping malls.
“Wherever there is a dense population, there will be a market for F10,” Dhanoa said.
The new business expansion was funded by an undisclosed round that was recently raised from existing investors, such as Maniv Mobility, the Israeli venture firm that funded and invested in electric mobility company Revell. $3.8 million in Fenix seed round last November. (Maniv Mobility’s investment in Fenix marks the first time an Israeli firm has invested in a UAE business, a sign that companies are doing well. Abraham Cordes’ The promise to normalize relations between the two countries.) But Dhanoa told Nerdshala that the cost of launching the F10 delivery service did not require deep pockets, “given the unparalleled synergy with our existing micromobility business.”
The F10 app can be downloaded from the Google Play Store and iOS App Store. To top things off, Fenix is offering new users the first order of up to AED50 (~$14 USD) for free.