Electric scooter startup Bolt has raised €3m in an equity crowdfunding campaign through the European crowdfunding platform Seedrs. The round exceeded its goal by 200% thanks to the participation of some 2,000 small investors, becoming the most successful round on Seedrs to date. The proceeds will go mainly to expand the presence of the company in the European market and to create the Bolt electric scooter, called 'AppScooter', which will be launched in 2018.
Founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs Marijn Flipse and Bart Jacobsz Rosier, this Dutch startup is preparing to be a top scooter option for Europeans next year, despite all the uncertainty about gas scooter laws. The recent round of financing will accelerate production so that the automotive startup can launch its electric scooters in 2018.
Bolt was born with the intention of permanently eliminating gasoline scooters, which are very polluting for the environment. In 2016 alone, global sales of motorcycles and scooters reached 134 million units, with revenues of 90,000 million dollars. However, the environmental impact caused by scooters - according to the University of Cambridge - is a thousand times more polluting than small vans, being responsible for 30% of global CO2 emissions.
Several European cities have implemented specific policies to solve this problem. In Amsterdam, 77% of gasoline scooters will be subject to new legislation as of January 2018 and all gasoline scooters manufactured before 2011 will be disabled. Italy and France, meanwhile, have also banned the use of gasoline scooters in several cities during certain hours and days.
The United Kingdom, on the other hand, is one step behind, as the British Government recently announced the decision to eliminate only the sales of diesel and gasoline cars by 2040. They have not yet implemented similar legislation for the case of scooters, despite them being more polluting than cars, especially when the poor air quality is increasing and worrying the United Kingdom.
What is clear is that most societies are moving towards sustainable means of transportation that are respectful to the environment, and this is where Bolt enters the scene. In the words of Bart Jacobsz Rosier, CEO and co-founder of Bolt: "We are very happy with the results of our last round of financing and really excited to be at the forefront of such a lucrative market that generates more than 30,000 million pounds a year. Our goal is to release more than 250,000 scooters by 2020. We are confident that Bolt will be the pioneer of the mass movement on sustainable scooters and that it will promote the worldwide adoption of other green alternatives such as Tesla cars."
For his part, Edwin Berkhout, Bolt investor, highlighted the possibilities of the company: "The approach of Bolt Mobility is revolutionary, since our scooters will be powered by renewable and clean electricity and, therefore, will change the rules of the market on a global scale. AppScooter is not only the next step to help the world achieve its renewable goals, but also an example of how scooter driving should be."
Before purchasing an AppScooter, customers will be able to fully customize their electric scooter with options that include: color, engine, battery size, alloys, tires and other extras such as windshields. In addition, the scooter stands out for a wide number of advantages: its great potential to store six battery modules, which means that the scooter can travel a range of 400 kilometers, three times more than any other competitor, and an acceleration that will reach 45 km / h from a standstill in only 3.3 seconds, becoming the fastest acceleration scooter on the market.
Another of the advances that the AppScooter will offer is its seven-inch touchscreen with 4G internet connection, powered by Vodafone. The AppScooter technology allows you to know your location, answer calls, play music and navigate through the best routes. You can even send a message to friends about your arrival time, or automatic responses to texts or calls.
The user interface can also be controlled through the handlebar, which means that drivers can focus on the road. This is important since more than 70% of people use their smartphone while driving, increasing the chances of suffering an accident by up to 160 times.