Spin withdraws from Europe and lays off a quarter of its employees

Photo: Eva Hambach / AFP (Getty Images)

Ford’s e-scooter company Spin has decided to restructure and exit some US cities and European countries where there are apparently just too many scooters, making it difficult to turn a profit. The move means the company will say goodbye to a significant number of its employees.

in a Announcement on Friday, Spin CEO Ben Bear said the company has begun to exit nearly all open licensing markets, or those where multiple companies are allowed to operate, for e-scooters to accelerate its “path to profitability.” As a result, it has started ceasing operations in Germany and Portugal and expects to withdraw from Spain as early as February. Bear said Spin will also exit some US markets, but did not provide details.

The CEO said the markets in these areas “have no sensible regulation,” ultimately affecting the ability to provide quality service to riders and cities.

“These places have licensing market dynamics that make it difficult to identify a clear path to profitability,” Bear said. “We found that these free-for-all markets create an uncertain business environment – ​​characterized by frequent changes in the competitive landscape, no caps on fleet sizes, and race-to-the-bottom pricing.”

About 25% of Spin’s employees will be made redundant in the restructuring of the company. They are offered severance pay, an extra stipend for outplacement services and are allowed to keep their company laptops.

After the restructuring of the company, Spin will focus entirely on markets with limited suppliers, where cities or campuses select the e-scooters that can operate in an area through a bidding process. Bear said the company has twice as much revenue per vehicle in these markets as it does in the open licensing markets.

Over the past two years, Spin has made significant changes. It shifted its focus to markets with limited suppliers, which now represent more than 75% of its portfolio, up from 35%. Last June, it removed the company’s co-founder and appointed Bear as its head. At the time, Bear said: TechCrunch that Spin was hiring at “full speed” and had “ambitious growth plans”. Those plans have clearly stalled for now.

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