Sun. Aug 14th, 2022

gbikeSouth Korea-based micromobility operator Gcooter acquires Hyundai Motor’s shared micromobility sharing platform SETS as it aims to increase its market share and create technological synergies through ZET’s fleet management system.

Gbike CEO Walter Yoon told BestFitnessBands that the deal, the first acquisition, will close in early August. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

South Korea’s consolidation looks set to begin in the shared micromobility industry after many e-scooter players jumped into the sector in 2019, Yoon said in an interview with BestFitnessBands. Gbike has been approached by potential buyers to be acquired while the startup itself was looking for acquisition targets, Yoon said, adding that it is in talks with another company to acquire.

“This year may be the time for consolidation [in the e-scooter industry]’ said Yoon. “We are very open to any other possibility.”

The ZET team will not join Gbike’s team and will stay with Hyundai, Yoon noted. The acquisition brings the startup’s total vehicle size to approximately 45,000. (Gbike, which added a fleet of 20,000 e-scooters last year, will take over ZET’s fleet of fewer than 1,000 e-scooters.)

In 2019, Hyundai launched the ZET platform that allows anyone in their city to start a micromobility business. ZET operates its services in South Korea’s major cities, including Jeju, Daegu and Incheon. Yoon explained that ZET is a kind of micro-mobility franchise platform, making it easier for franchisees to start their own business.

Yoon pointed out that many e-scooter companies were suspended or closed last year due to South Korea’s revised regulation, which came into effect in May 2021, which requires e-scooter users to wear helmets and have a valid driver’s license and be 16 years of age. or older.

More than 20 e-scooter rental startups operate more than 50,000 e-scooters in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. Several e-scooter companies, such as Lime, Wind Mobility, Neuron and local companies have shut down their operations in South Korea in recent months. Regulatory shortcomings in the country, such as the lack of a Request for Proposal (RFP) system, which selects a few excellent operators in each city to deliver the best possible micromobility services, caused regulatory compliance issues for riders, such as parking and congestion.

Gbike has raised a total of $10 million from investors including Mirae Asset Venture Investment, Strong Ventures and SBI Investment.

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