Gbikea Korea-based micromobility Gcooter operator, is acquiring Hyundai Motor’s shared micromobility feature-sharing platform ZET because they want to increase their market share and create technological synergy through ZET’s fleet management system.
Gbike CEO Walter Yoon told TechCrunch that the acquisition, the company’s first, will close in early August. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Yoon said in an interview with TechCrunch, Korean consolidation seems to be starting in the shared micromobility industry after many e-scooter players jumped into the field in 2019. Yoon said Gbike was approached for acquisition by potential buyers while the startup was looking for acquisition targets, Yoon said, adding that it was in talks with another company for an acquisition.
“This year could be a time of consolidation [in the e-scooter industry],” Yoon said. “We are very open to any other opportunities.”
The ZET team will not join Gbike’s team and will stay at Hyundai, Yoon noted. This acquisition brings the total vehicle size of the startup to about 45,000 units. (Gbike, which added its fleet of 20,000 e-scooters last year, will acquire ZET’s fleet of fewer than 1,000 e-scooters.)
In 2019, Hyundai launched the ZET platform that allows anyone to start a micro-mobile business in their cities. ZET operates its service in major Korean cities, including Jeju, Daegu and Incheon. Yoon explained that ZET is like a micro-mobility franchising platform that makes it easier for franchisees to do their business.
Yoon pointed out that many e-scooter companies suspended or closed last year due to South Korea’s revised regulations, which come into effect in May 2021, requiring e-scooter users to wear helmet and have a valid driver’s license and be 16 years or older. .
More than 20 e-scooter rental startups are operating more than 50,000 e-scooters in Seoul, South Korea. Several e-scooter companies such as Lime, Wind Mobility, Neuron and local companies have ceased operations in South Korea in the past few months. Regulatory shortcomings in the country, such as the lack of a request for recommendation (RFP) system, which selects a few prominent operators in each city to provide the best possible microservices, have caused problems. driver compliance issues 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.