Urban mobility is one of the toughest challenges that cities face across the globe. The existing transport networks in megacities are close to breaking point.
According to a report by Arthur D Little, the average time an urban dweller spends in traffic jams will rise to 106 hours per year in 2050, which is three times more than today. Being able to get around urban areas conveniently and with little environmental impact is now crucial.
Based out of Rome, Scuter, a MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) is trying to solve the city’s mobility problems.
Recently, the Italian company has raised €3M funding in a Seed round, a record figure for a hardware-based tech startup in the pre-revenue phase in Italy.
The €3M fund comes as a convertible investment led by LVenture Group and other Business Angels co-matching with CDP Venture Capital, a zero-interest debt financing plus a grant by the government’s agency INVITALIA, and a medium debt financing from Intesa Sanpaolo Bank.
During the initial stage, SCUTER raised €600K in Pre-Seed financing from friends and family, business angels, and through the crowdfunding platform Mamacrowd.
SCUTER also won a grant in the INCENSE contest run by the European Commission with ENEL, as one of the most promising cleantech startups in Europe.
Offers Mobility as a Service
Founded by Gianmarco Carnovale, Gabriele Carbucicchio, Carmine di Nuzzo and Luca Ruggeri in 2015, SCUTER offers a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solution based on an innovative electric smart ride-on scooter designed just for sharing.
SCUTER says it is specially designed for car drivers to make the driving experience more comfortable and safe.
SCUTER’s system comprises four parts – a cloud platform powered by Machine Learning and AI, a smartphone app, a charging battery cabinet, and a patented single-seat electric 3-wheels vehicle.
The vehicle described by Scuter as ‘a smartphone with wheels and a chair,’ features a protective cabin, aluminum chassis and goes up to 45 km/h.
According to the company, the user can drive it without wearing a helmet and is required to be at least 14 years old with a valid driving license. The batteries are swappable, so there is no need to wait for them to be charged onboard.
The app will allow users to find their closest vehicle and park it using an interactive map.
“The whole architecture will be subject to continuous reengineering to improve the efficiency and add features, to improve the user experience as well as to customize the service city by city,” says the company in the press release.
“Achieving such a goal in the seed stage, meaning in the pre-revenue phase, wasn’t an easy ride” says Gianmarco Carnovale, CEO at SCUTER –
“The VCs dedicated to the mobility sector were located in other countries, and even if interested, these international investors were not willing to invest cross-border in such an early stage. However, instead of moving our headquarter abroad, we decided to change our fundraising model, by readdressing our strategy on some Italy-based financial instruments, independent from one to the other, and matching them into a single financial plan. This strategy proved to be working, allowing SCUTER to raise 3 million after the last approval, and we’re now producing the first fleet of our vehicle Mark V. In a few months we will be operational in our lunch city in Italy, which will become our permanent lab, to get ready for a Series A in the next year,” he adds.