Revel shared electric moped starter he said Friday he will shut down his service in Austin later this month.
The CEO and co-founder of the startup Frank Reig did not put the whole blame on the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused passengers to fall through shared micromobility services and public transportation, for the company’s decision. Instead, Reig cited Austin’s combination of “ingrained” automotive culture, which only took root further during COVID. The service will close in Austin on December 18th.
“When Revel arrived in Austin we knew there would be challenges,” Reig wrote in the statement that was posted on Twitter. “In addition to having a less dense urban core than our other markets, the city’s entrenched automotive culture proved difficult to penetrate, especially during COVID.”
“One thing we learned is that Austin, unlike markets that have stronger public transport infrastructure, is a city that is still very car dependent and we have found that our electric mopeds don’t thrive in a culture environment.” automotive, “” A company spokesperson said in an email.
COVID was an additional contributing factor. The lack of visitors to the city who could rely on Revel instead of renting and parking a car, and the overall reduction in travel among those who work and live in Austin, have exacerbated market challenges.
Revel, founded in March 2018 by Frank Reig and Paul Suhey, started with a pilot program in Brooklyn and later expanded into Queens, the Bronx and sections of Manhattan. It has been on a frantic growth path thanks to the $ 27.6 million in capital raised in October 2019 in a Series A round led by Ibex Investors. The equity round included newcomer Toyota AI Ventures and additional investments from Blue Collective, Launch Capital and Maniv Mobility.
Revel expanded to Austin, Miami and Washington, DC in its first 18 months of operation. In January, the company launched in Oakland and received a permit to operate in San Francisco in July.
Revel has had a busy year, and not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company voluntarily closed operations in New York on July 28 after many of its users died in accidents. The company restarted its fleet of 3,000 mopeds in four boroughs after New York City approved its relaunch plan, which included several new features in its app aimed at increasing safety. Revel has added training videos, tests, and an on-helmet selfie feature that requires photographic evidence that the user is wearing a helmet and community reporting tool.