Superpedestrian, Popular Scooter Corporation, Ceasing US Operations and Considering Europe Business Sale

Superpedestrian, the e-scooter startup known for its self-diagnostic software, is shutting down its U.S.-based shared scooter operation and exploring a sale of its European business, TechCrunch has exclusively learned. The company’s director of US operations, Alexander Berg, confirmed the news to his team Friday afternoon on a Zoom call. Superpedestrian itself has gone through a series of layoffs, including one just months after closing its Series C round. Superpedestrian used technology, and specifically diagnostic and safety software, to differentiate it from rivals like Bird and Tier. Superpedestrian had planned to build and roll out new scooters equipped with its branded Pedestrian Defense to 25 cities across the United States and Europe in 2022.

The End of the Road for Superpedestrian’s E-Scooters

Superpedestrian, known for its advanced self-diagnostic software, is making drastic changes to its business. The startup is closing its U.S. shared scooter operation and is seeking a buyer for its European business, according to exclusive reports from TechCrunch.

During a Zoom call on Friday afternoon, Alexander Berg, the company’s director of U.S. operations, broke the news to his team. He cited financial reasons for the shutdown, but did not provide further details. “Even our investors have supported us financially up until now,” he said. “We did everything we could.”

Superpedestrian raised $125 million just 18 months ago in a Series C round of financing. Investors included Jefferies, Antara Capital, the Sony Innovation Fund by IGV, FM Capital, Spark Capital, General Catalyst, and Citi via the Citi Impact Fund. However, since then, the e-scooter industry has faced challenges. Bird, in particular, underwent a significant drop in valuation after going public, leading to the company pulling out of multiple markets.

Superpedestrian itself has had to make cutbacks, including a previous layoff shortly after closing its Series C round. As reported on LinkedIn, the latest round of layoffs took place earlier this month.

The startup boasts its presence in 60+ cities across 11 countries but had to pull out of Chicago in September due to intense competition. A representative from Waco, TX, where Superpedestrian recently launched a scooter fleet, was unaware of the shutdown when reached for comment on Friday.

Superpedestrian set itself apart from rivals, such as Bird and Tier, through its focus on technology, specifically, diagnostic and safety software. The company’s efforts in this field were amplified with its acquisition of Navmatic in July 2021.

Using Navmatic’s technology, Superpedestrian announced plans to introduce a Pedestrian Defense safety system, a feature designed to detect and correct unsafe riding behaviors in real-time, to its scooters. The startup had intended to roll out these scooters across 25 cities in the U.S. and Europe in 2022. The initial deployment was set to start in the U.S. and the U.K. in cities with high pedestrian activity by early spring.

This story is developing…

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Kira Kim

Kira Kim is a science journalist with a background in biology and a passion for environmental issues. She is known for her clear and concise writing, as well as her ability to bring complex scientific concepts to life for a general audience.

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