August 3, 2022Before the COVID-19 pandemic, investments in the shared-micromobility industry soared in line with growing ridership and utilization. From 2015 to 2019, almost $7 billion was invested in this market. Funding contracted sharply in 2020, to around $800 million, but the industry is now resuming its growth trajectory, as we projected in a previous article, and capital flows are also rising. In 2021, micromobility players attracted approximately $2.9 billion in new investment, and they may exceed this level in 2022. But the capital flows are now coming from different types of investors, and they are going to regions and vehicle types different from those of the past.
To gain more insight into these differences, we used McKinsey’s Micromobility Investment Database, which applies big data algorithms to track publicly disclosed investments in companies that either provide shared-micromobility services or produce vehicles and supporting technology for the shared-micromobility industry.1 The tool can analyze investments by investor and by vehicle type—for instance, e-kickscooters, electric bicycles, and electric mopeds—as well as geographic areas. It focuses on investment in companies in the core micromobility markets of Asia, Europe, and North America.
A regional shift to Europe
Since 2018, about $8.4 billion has been invested in micromobility companies in the three core markets—split relatively equally among Asia ($3.1 billion, or 37 percent), North America ($2.9 billion, 34 percent), and Europe ($2.4 billion, 29 percent) (Exhibit 1).
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To determine if funding patterns changed over time, we segmented total investment by looking at two time periods: the years before the pandemic (2018 to 2019) and the next three years (2020 to 2022). Our analysis shows that the flow of funds has not been evenly split in recent years and that Europe has taken the lead from Asia. Investments in micromobility companies headquartered in Europe represented only 12 percent of global flows before the pandemic but almost 50 percent from 2020 to 2022. Investments in North American companies also increased during the second time period. Asia had the most significant funding drop over time: from $2.7 billion (60 percent of the total) to just $400 million (10 percent).
One reason for this shift may be the accelerated measures (such as building dedicated urban bicycle and scooter lanes) that European policy makers have used to make micromobility safer and more attractive. In addition, many European players have grown extremely rapidly in recent years and are acquiring smaller competitors, thus fueling continued investment.
E-kickscooters remain the most prevalent vehicle type
Around the world, companies that focused on shared e-kickscooters attracted the most investment—$5.2 …….