WeMo Scooter, an e-scooter rental startup based in Taiwan, announced yesterday (Jun. 17) that it has raised a Series A round led by early stage VC firm AppWorks. The startup was part of the AppWorks Accelerator in 2016.
Launched in 2016, the startup offers e-scooter rental service across Taipei, New Taipei, and Kaohsiung and has been one of the largest operators of such service in Taiwan. WeMo’s core technology is the IoT device installed in every vehicle for fleet management and data collection.
With the new funding, WeMo Scooter plans to focus on the growth of its Internet of Vehicles (IoV) business by setting up an R&D center in Taiwan, which looks to recruit up to 100 hardware and software engineers in three years.
The startup says with the core technology, it will be exploring innovative applications for car fleet management, smart parking, and battery management. Developed in-house, its IoT device can be installed in vehicles other than scooters.
Expanding into Southeast Asia
As one of the three major EV rental service providers in Taiwan, WeMo Scooter also plans to use the new capital to expand into Southeast Asia.
The startup says it deploys 7,000 vehicles and facilitates a million rides every month in Taiwan. With its IoV technology and such experience, the startup is “uniquely positioned to help countries across the region to accelerate the transition to smart cities.”
The biggest asset for WeMo Scooter, the data collected from the connected device in each vehicle include not only speed, distance, and route but air quality and other environmental figures, which may help shape transport policies and improve urban mobility.
Founder and CEO Jeffrey Wu says his company aims to become a leading Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) provider in Asia, helping countries across the region to create cleaner, smarter, and more tech-enabled transportation ecosystems of their own.
For AppWorks, the Series A round investment marks its first financial involvement in Taiwan’s burgeoning EV sector, following its recent participation in the Series A round of Singapore-based mobility startup Beam.
“As the era of 5G comes, it will inevitably bring a huge shift to global IoV technologies and industrial development,” says Jamie Lin, chairman and partner of AppWorks.
“With our participation in this round, we look forward to not only helping the company solidify its leading position in Taiwan but also laying the building blocks that will transform WeMo Scooter into a regional and international success story.”