Randomness (r_ness) wrote,

Posted May 21:

Matt Levine posted an article Friday about "the venture-capital-subsidized perpetual-loss-leading user-growth-at-any-cost economy". It seems applicable to the dockless bikeshare business.

(As of this weekend, I count five companies with bikes on the ground here in Greater Boston: Ant Bikes, LimeBike, ofo, VBikes, and Zagster. One other operator, Spin, has announced they will be bringing bikes here soon as well.)

Note added today: There's quite a lot of underpants gnomes about the business model around dockless bikeshare. In its most irresponsible form, the model goes something like this:
  1. Have lots of cheap bikes built, rentable with an app

  2. Dump them all over the place

  3. ...

  4. Profit!
The world's biggest dockless bikeshare operator, ofo, has raised something over $2 billion with this kind of model. Their next biggest competitor, Mobike, has raised on the order of a billion and a half dollars.
Tags: money

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