Electric scooter startup Spin was long considered to be a bit of an underdog in the micromobility space. Before selling to Ford, Spin had raised just $8 million, while competitors Lime and Bird had raised hundreds of millions. Today, the former underdog is backed by one of the world’s largest transportation companies and has set its sights on becoming an industry leader that sets standards for both vehicles and labor practices.
“We’ve gone from the scrappy upstart, the guy who was least-funded, the guys who kept to their principles and always deployed working with cities, who realized that there would be a chance for a long-term kind of business here,” Spin co-founder Euwyn Poon told TechCrunch. “Now, through the Ford acquisition, we can take an even longer-term view.”
When Ford bought Spin in a deal worth about $100 million in November 2018, Spin employed just 24 people. Now, the company has a few hundred staffers across 70 markets. Spin’s blueprint for growth is what brought Ford to the table, Poon said.
“The acquisition happened at a time when Bird and Lime had probably raised about $700 million each, so they were scaling out,” Poon said. “When Ford was looking to get into this space, instead of doing it themselves or acquiring a larger company, they found us as a great partner because we had these great principles and a big blueprint for scaling out. The capital injection they provided to us has put us in our path so, with the addition of Ford, we’ve been able to tap on their capital resources and have acquired a lot of expertise in the hardware side and a lot of expertise on the regulatory side as well.”
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