It has been a while since e-scooters have been in the headlines. So, let’s bring them back to center stage with a Wednesday announcement coming from Israeli e-scooter platform LEO, which pivoted from its original Tel Aviv roadmap, and is selling 40% of its holdings to 3 Israeli superstar investors: world-renown WeWork CEO and co-founder Adam Neumann, famed Israeli Netflix counter-terrorist hero Lior Raz, and private investor Ron Zuckerman. Currently, LEO is owned by the founders of Israeli E-scooter company Inokim, and legendary soccer player Eyal Berkovic.
Tried to solve shared E-scooters’ biggest problem, and changed direction
LEO, which defines itself as an “E-scooter platform”, joined the parade of globally known brands like Wind, Bird, and Lime’s entrance into Israel’s mobility market. LEO though was able to stand out with a unique model aimed at solving one of the shared e-scooters’ biggest challenges, by offering a special locking mechanism for multi-use helmets, so that spontaneous rides could remain safe and in accordance to traffic laws. Following quite a few thefts and vandalism, LEO abandoned Tel Aviv and its B2C model and transitioned to a B2B model that set up E-scooter docking stations at hotels, businesses, suppliers, and for hospitality service providers.
Neumann is not actually investing in LEO, but rather through global hospitality brand Selina, which in addition to room and board also offers shared workspaces and a “local experience”, kind of like if Airbnb and WeWork had a baby. The lodging and workspace hotels can be found in over 70 locations all across the Americas and Europe. As part of the deal, Selina will provide E-scooter services at its lodging locations, and split profits with LEO. The first stage of the new roll-out will see the service launched in Israel, Mexico, and Brazil, and later on, 18 other countries will join the E-scooter service fun.
"In Selina, we realized that green and "open-air" transportation will replace traditional mobility options like busses, cars, trains. There are many reasons for this, but we know that many travelers, even more after this pandemic, have tighter budgets, and sometimes renting a car, is not an option. Also, in urban cities, people are less excited to use traditional transportation to get around. That's why we decided to partner with LEO. Electric scooters will be available to Selina's guest in our lobbies, giving them access to a truly culturally authentic experience that empowers them to learn and evolve as they explore the world," said Selina Co-Founder and CEO Rafael Museri.
LEO knows that one day, COVID reality will be a thing of the past, and global tourism will be back on its feet in no time. So, when we return to vacationing abroad, and make it to the hotel, then we have instant transportation to get to the city and back easily and at a cheaper price than renting a car.