>> Shit.>> Scooter sharing across America is growing fast enough to spark a wave of new, well-funded startups. But it's not just the new app-based operators that are riding the wave.>> I'm Reuter's Jane Lanhee Lee, on Venice Beach, where these shared scooters by market leaders Bird and Lime seem to be everywhere.
And one company is providing the bulk of all of these scooters in America. They're called Segway Ninebot. The Beijing-based company was formed in 2015 when a Chinese company bought Segway, the American company that made these two-wheelers that became a punch line and a mini-craze at the same time in the early 2000's.
Even getting a co-starring role in the Hollywood comedy Mall Cop. We caught up with CEO Gao Lufeng, who was in LA for a product launch event, and he told us about how he broke into the market.>>
Even if a competitor copies your scooter. By the time their scooters enter the market, we'll have a new scooter that's even better for the leasing market, a more intelligent product.
>> Less than a year after it launched, Bird is already valued at $2 billion. Segway Ninebot, which supplies all of the Bird's scooters, itself was already valued at over $1.5 billion last year before the scooter craze. And is now raising another $200 million. So even with looming regulatory challenges in many cities, others want in.
Razor which makes scooters popular among American kids is launching its scooter sharing business this summer. And startups like Clever Mobility, a portfolio company of the LA Cleantech Innovation Center, are popping up, offering what it says is a scooter with swappable batteries and better GPS for tracking. Segway Ninebot isn't worried.
The company has more than 200 people developing and improving its products, and its mass scale production means it's competitive.>>
So I don't think anyone can compete with us.