Scooter Startups might have a tough time in the next couple of months if the Coronavirus pandemic is still around. Lime, the scooter-sharing startup, recently had to make a difficult decision by laying off a chunk of its workforce.

According to reports, Lime had to cut its global workforce by13% because of COVID-19.

Since social distancing and stay-at-home orders are in place by most cities around the world, demand for scooter-sharing services has dropped.

It’s a shame because the concept of these sharing services makes sense depending on where you live.

It helps cut down on traffic, and reliance on traditional public transportation systems.

Nevertheless, Lime is among the many businesses around the world that have been forced to make those hard decisions just to stay alive.

It’s a shitty time for Lime’s investors because it’s uncertain about what the future might hold.

Lime CEO Brad Bao sent out this memo just yesterday to his global staff:

These are incredibly challenging times for companies of all shapes and sizes, and we are all doing our very best in what are some of the most trying of circumstances. Today is a particularly hard day for our team. Please take a few minutes to read the below letter our CEO, Brad Bao, sent to the company earlier today.

Brad also said:

While we certainly can’t predict what comes next, we remain confident that Lime will emerge stronger than ever once we get to the other side of this pandemic. In the meantime, we are each doing everything we can to support our loved ones, neighbors and communities, and just as importantly, sending love, prayers, and gratitude to those on the front lines. We hope you will too.

What Scooter Startups Should Do

scooter startups
PARIS, FRANCE – OCTOBER 09: A man looks at electric scooters Lime-S from the bike-sharing service company ‘Lime’ on October 09, 2018, in Paris, France. Electric scooters for rent self-service invade the streets and sidewalks of Paris, but the legal vagueness that surrounds their conditions of use does not encourage good practices. The French Minister of Transport Elisabeth decided to regulate this mode of transport in fashion. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

If you are thinking about launching a scooter startup or a ride-sharing service, the best thing to do right now is to analyze the current climate.

While things look a bit grim, eventually we’ll return to some kind of normality.

It probably won’t be what we were used to, but rather a new-normal.

If your business model is based on how things were a few months ago, pre-coronavirus, then you’ll need to make some adjustments.

One idea would be to change your target audience.

Instead of targeting the general public, you might want to shift your focus on companies that have large working spaces.

More specifically, I mean those companies who are considered essential and have employees who need to go from point A to B within the work environment.

Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook all have large headquarters. There is a need for their employees to get from one end to the other quickly.

Or possibly your local nuclear reactor facility. Employees, there could use an e-scooter to shuffle around. These are massive places, which I’m sure, management is always looking to streamline their processes.

Here in Canada, the government has listed these as essential services:

  • Supply chains
  • Food
  • Services
  • Services to the public that are restricted to alternative methods of sale
  • Maintenance

The list goes on…

Possibly none of my ideas work for you, but I’m just trying to get you to think outside the box a bit.

Scooter sharing startups such as Bird and Voi are also having a tough time, as they had to lay off workers as well.

It will be easier for your new startup to pivot and turn versus the more established players in the industry.

Investors might be a touch more hesitant to through down some hard cash during these tough times.

But that doesn’t mean you should stop. First, change directions a bit and plan for post-COVID-19 as best as you can.

I do think scooter startups will be around, but just not in the same capacity as we once thought.

Only those startups that can quickly adapt to new trends will see the success they deserve.


Matthew Barnes
Loves all things tech. He's a writer and founder of Techmalak. His personal blog is all about copywriting and helping small businesses get the most out of their websites.