Shared micromobility operator Vo has raised $16 million in new funding as the company accelerates its expansion plans in the United States. The Series A funding round, which follows permit awards in Santa Monica, San Diego and New York, will be used to expand VO’s fleet and focus on developing city and community partnerships.
Veo, which was founded in 2017 has sought venture funding a little later in the game than other micromobility companies. Candice Zee, Co-Founder and CEO of Veo It has been vocal about creating a sustainable business model that is profitable on its own before seeking outside funding, which the company says it has done. But as Veo expands its footprint, additional funding is needed to purchase the vehicles it needs to deploy in new markets, according to the company.
Edwin Tan, co-founder and president of VO, said, “We want to make sure we also have very high quality vehicles because vehicle depreciation costs are a big factor in unit economics, and we have very good control over that. ” Nerdshala. “By leveraging our design and supply chain, we want to show that we can continue to develop high-quality, long-lasting vehicles.”
The company, which has always designed and manufactured its electric scooters and bikes instead of partnering with a single manufacturer, recently launched its electric scooters and bikes. Latest Astro 4, which Tan said could last about three years. vo’s The previous vehicle generation could last up to two years.
Tan said the new features on the vehicle could help reduce operating costs and give users more for their money. According to Veo, the Astro is the first shared e-scooter with 4 turn signals. It will also have a new lighting feature that tells passersby to “please pick me up” at the bottom of the board – an effort to alert people with disabilities to the presence of scooters while solving the problem of public nuisance. Tan said a brighter headlight, decklight and taillight have also been added and other features like better suspension and IoT will help keep costs down.
“We are expanding the R&D budget,” Tan said. “We want to make sure we can create new technology or a new product that can solve for new form factors. We believe this industry is still very early, and we think we can do more The form factor can create and really change how people move around with different vehicles. That unmet demand is really important to us.”
According to Tan, the VO makes an average of one new vehicle every year. The company plans to launch a new vehicle in the first quarter of 2022 that will address the “winter problem” and eliminate seasonality of rides. The company said that it already has a solution for this, but it is not ready to share more details.
Veo also wants to meet the needs of people who don’t feel safe or comfortable riding a stand-up kick scooter or bike. The Cosmo model of the Veo, which is a sit-down scooter design, is an example of the company’s effort to meet that demand. Veo plans to introduce additional models that are accessible to a wider range of people, a move that is more in line with requests from cities.
The funding round was led by Autotech Ventures, with participation from UP Partners, FJ Labs and Interplay Ventures.