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Revel’s Frank Reig shares how he built his business and what he’s planning

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It’s only been three years since they hit the streets and Revel’s blue electric mopeds have already become a common sight in New York, San Francisco and a growing number of U.S. cities. However, Revel founder and CEO Frank Reig has set his sights far beyond building a shared moped service.

In fact, since the beginning of 2021, Revel has launched an e-bike subscription service, an EV charging station venture and an all-electric rideshare service driven by a fleet of 50 Teslas.

So we caught up with Reig to talk about what he learned from building the company, how Revel’s business strategy has evolved, and what lies ahead.

Before we get to the good stuff, here’s some background:

The idea for Revel seems like it came from the classic entrepreneur’s guidebook: Reig had a need that no existing company addressed. He’d seen mopeds used as major, if not dominant, forms of transportation as he traveled around Europe, Asia and Latin America, and he wondered why this logical (and fun) mode of transport was largely absent from American cities in general, and in his hometown, New York City, in particular.

So in 2018, Reig quit his job, raised $1.1 million from 57 people, and launched a small pilot program involving 68 mopeds in Brooklyn. In May 2019, he raised $4 million in VC funding, which helped him expand to 1,000 electric mopeds across Brooklyn and Queens. Revel secured another $33.8 million in September 2019, in a round that included funding from Ibex Investments, Toyota Ventures, Maniv Capital, Shell and Hyundai, according to Reig. This has allowed the founder to execute a grander plan to build an electric mobility company.

The company now operates more than 3,000 e-mopeds in New York City, and has another 3,000 across Washington, D.C., Miami, Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.

TechCrunch: You’ve added three new business lines and told us previously that you have more on the way. That’s a lot.

Frank Reig: Yes, we have had a busy start to 2021! We began the year announcing our fast-charging stations across the city that will help fill the large gap in infrastructure to support the wide-scale adoption of EVs. We launched our e-bike subscription program to offer New Yorkers another way to navigate their city, and with our newly announced electric ride-sharing program, we are solving the “chicken and egg” problem of EV charging and demand. We are focused on building out these business lines and our moped business as well and very much looking forward to what is to come.

When shared micromobility companies expand, they often just offer different vehicles. You seem to be going, “Ok, we’ll offer a different vehicle — an e-bike, but it’s a subscription. And we’re also doing electric vehicle chargers, and let’s add an EV rideshare to the mix.” It’s pretty broad.

If we’re talking about electrifying mobility in major cities, it starts with infrastructure. And we’re the company rolling up our sleeves and doing it now by building that infrastructure and operating fleets. Because in a city like New York, the infrastructure does not exist for electric mobility.

There are a few Tesla superchargers around the city, usually behind parking paywalls, so you have to pay the garage to even use it. And, of course, you need a Tesla for that infrastructure to even be relevant. And when you think about other public fast-charging access points in the city, they are few and far between. We’re building 30 in one site and many more beyond that in 2021.

New York is a complicated city to operate in, so it’s easier for us to add e-bikes as a service because I already have the infrastructure and on-the-ground operations that we built with the mopeds. I have multiple warehouses throughout this city. I have full-time staff that I’ve employed, from field technicians to mechanics, and a fleet of over 3,000 vehicles on the streets in New York. So it’s a natural extension of the platform to be able to add another product to it, to reach a new type of user, or to supplement the use case of our current moped users. All we needed to do was finance some e-bikes, and then you have another line of business.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/04/revels-frank-reig-shares-how-he-built-his-business-and-what-hes-planning/

Crowdfunding

[Zoomcar in BW Disrupt] Zoomcar Raises $5.5 Million Dollars From US Based Parent Company Zoomcar Inc

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Recently, the Indian self-drive car rental company Zoomcar has raised INR 41 Crore/ $5.5 Million from its umbrella company Zoomcar Inc. Prior to this, Zoomcar Inc had also infused INR 8.27crore/ $1.1 Million in January and INR 5.27 Crore/ $717k in February 2021. These rounds of raising investments taking the total capital infusion in the company to INR 54.5 Crore/$7.4 Million in 2021.

Read more here.

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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/zoomcar-raises-5-5-million-dollars-from-us-based-parent-company-zoomcar-inc/

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Crowdfunding

[Innoviz in PR Newswire] Innoviz Announces New Design Win With Leading Tier-1 Automotive Supplier For its Autonomous Shuttle Program

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TEL AVIV, Israel, May 12, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Innoviz Technologies (NASDAQ: INVZ), a technology leader of high-performance, solid-state LiDAR sensors and perception software, was selected by a leading Tier-1 automotive supplier as the LiDAR provider for its multi-year autonomous shuttle program. Innoviz will provide its InnovizOne solid-state LiDAR units to the company for use on its shuttles, which are expected to become operational by the end of 2022 and change the face of transportation. The shuttles are expected to achieve level 4 autonomy, enable fully automated driving and be used to transport both passengers and cargo in various geo-fenced settings. The agreement is expected to generate hundreds of millions in revenue throughout the life of the program.

Read more here.

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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/innoviz-announces-new-design-win-with-leading-tier-1-automotive-supplier-for-its-autonomous-shuttle-program/

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Automotive

Autonomous vehicle pioneers Karl Iagnemma and Chris Urmson are coming to TC Sessions: Mobility 2021

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Long before the multimillion-dollar acquisitions and funding rounds pushed autonomous vehicles to the top of the hype cycle, Karl Iagnemma and Chris Urmson were researching and, later, developing the foundations of the technology.

These pioneers — Iagnemma coming from MIT, Urmson from Carnegie Mellon University — would eventually go on to launch their own autonomous vehicle startups in an aim to finally bring years of R&D to the public.

That task isn’t over quite yet. Urmson, who is co-founder and CEO of Aurora, and Iagnemma, who is president and CEO of Motional, are still working on unlocking the technical and business problems that stand in the way of commercialization.

TechCrunch is excited to announce that Urmson and Iagnemma will be joining us on the virtual stage of TC Sessions: Mobility 2021. The one-day event, scheduled for June 9, is bringing together engineers and founders, investors and CEOs who are working on all the present and future ways people and packages will get from Point A to Point B. Iagnemma and Urmson will come to discuss the past, the present challenges and what both aim to do in the future. We’ll tackle questions about the technical problems that remain to be solved, the war over talent, the best business models and applications of autonomous vehicles and maybe even hear a few stories from the early days of testing and launching a startup.

Both guests have a long list of accolades and accomplishments — and too many to cover them all here.

Urmson has been working on AVs for more than 15 years. He earned his BSc in computer engineering from the University of Manitoba in 1998 and his PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005. He was a faculty member of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked with house-sized trucks, drove robots in the desert and was the technical director of the DARPA Urban and Grand Challenge teams. Urmson has authored more than 60 patents and 50 publications.

He left CMU and was one of the founding members of Google’s self-driving program, serving as its CTO. In 2017, Urmson co-founded Aurora with Sterling Anderson and Drew Bagnell.

Iagnemma is also considered an authority on robotics and driverless vehicles. He was the director of the Robotic Mobility Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where his research resulted in more than 150 technical publications, 50 issued or filed patents and numerous edited volumes, including books on the DARPA Grand Challenge and Urban Challenge autonomous vehicle competitions. He holds a BS from the University of Michigan, where he graduated first in his class, and MS and PhD degrees from MIT, where he was a National Science Foundation fellow.

In 2013, Iagnemma co-founded autonomous vehicle startup nuTonomy, one of the first to launch ride-hailing pilots. The company was acquired by Aptiv in late 2017. Aptiv and Hyundai formed the joint venture, which he now heads, in 2020. 

Iagnemma and Urmson are two of the many best and brightest minds in transportation who will be joining us on our virtual stage in June. Among the growing list of speakers are GM’s VP of Global Innovation Pam Fletcher, Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang, Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt, investor and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman (whose special purpose acquisition company just merged with Joby), investors Clara Brenner of Urban Innovation Fund, Quin Garcia of Autotech Ventures and Rachel Holt of Construct Capital, Starship Technologies co-founder and CEO/CTO Ahti Heinla, Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson, community organizer, transportation consultant and lawyer Tamika L. Butler, Remix co-founder and CEO Tiffany Chu and Revel co-founder and CEO Frank Reig.

Stay tuned for more announcements in the weeks leading up to the event. Early Bird sales end tonight, May 7 at 11:59 pm PT. Be sure to book your tickets ASAP and save $100.

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Source: https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/07/autonomous-vehicle-pioneers-karl-iagnemma-and-chris-urmson-are-coming-to-tc-sessions-mobility-2021/

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Crowdfunding

[Virgin Hyperloop One in WHBL] Virgin Hyperloop shows off the future: mass transport in floating magnetic pods

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(Reuters) – In the desert just north of Las Vegas, a long white metal tube sits at the base of the mountains, promising to one day revolutionize travel. That is where Virgin Hyperloop, whose partners include Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, is developing the technology for passenger pods that will hurtle at speeds of up to 750 miles an hour (1,200 kph) through almost air-free vacuum tunnels using magnetic levitation.

Read more here.

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Source: https://blog.ourcrowd.com/virgin-hyperloop-shows-off-the-future-mass-transport-in-floating-magnetic-pods/

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