A brand new crop of scooter startups have emerged hoping to capitalize on the recognition of dockless rental providers like Fowl and Lime. The newest is Unicorn, a classy $699 electrical scooter from the co-creator of gadget tracker Tile.
Primarily based in Austin, Texas, Unicorn needs to be a scooter firm for individuals who would fairly personal than share. Along with having a placing profile — the all-white look is de facto one thing — the scooter additionally comes with numerous high-tech bells and whistles, like GPS monitoring and smartphone-enabled locking. Naturally this additionally contains integration with Tile, which makes use of Bluetooth to trace simply misplaced gadgets, like a pockets, keys, or cellphone.
“I’m at present fulfilling the dream I had years in the past at Tile of placing merchandise finding potential into every part, and at Unicorn we’re doing that with electrical scooters,” Evans stated through e-mail. “By integrating Tile into our Unicorns, we’re pushing Tile’s mission ahead whereas additionally offering the simplest to make use of electrical scooter available on the market.”
Regardless of its flashy look, the Unicorn’s specs are pretty customary for an electrical kick scooter. The scooter is manufactured in partnership with Segway/Ninebot, which is among the largest scooter makers on the earth. The Unicorn has a most pace of 15 mph, a spread of 10-15 miles, a 300 watt motor, and a 187 WH battery that takes 3.5 hours to cost. It weighs 28 kilos and might fold in half for straightforward storage. It’s priced at $699, which has been discounted to $549 as an introductory promotion.
However at $699, Unicorn is hoping to hit a worth level that’s barely dearer than most Xiaomi scooters you would possibly discover on Amazon, however not as costly as a few of the extra rugged, highly effective scooters hitting the market.
So what about these bells and whistles? After you obtain the Unicorn app — after all there’s an app — the scooter will unlock and the sunshine will activate as quickly as you get inside 10 toes. If you’re completed, the scooter will go into “armed mode” and gained’t experience or transfer for anybody else. That stated, you possibly can nonetheless share entry with another person in the event you really feel like sharing. The app permits you to share the scooter with two different folks, or an infinite quantity utilizing a function known as UnicornCare.
As a result of every part must be a subscription, UnicornCare provides clients entry to a spread of extra providers for $29.99 a month. These embrace free repairs, replacements if the scooter is misplaced or stolen (with a $49 deductible), realtime LTE GPS monitoring, limitless sharing, and premium buyer help.
This shouldn’t come as a complete shock. Evans’ different firm, Tile, lately launched its personal subscription service, Tile Premium. For $29.99 a 12 months or $2.99, clients get an infinite variety of Tile units, prolonged warranties, and different premium options. As The Verge’s Ashley Carman correctly notes, subscriptions are one of many solely methods gadget makers can hope to publish income.
The scooter sharing providers like Fowl and Lime are struggling to make their unit economics work. However Evans thinks personally owned scooters nonetheless have a protracted runway, particularly as a few of the smaller sharing corporations falter.
“Constructing a top quality product and lasting model takes much more work than putting an order on Alibaba and slapping a your new hip emblem and forgettable 4 letter firm title on the aspect,” he stated. “It’s about specializing in the shoppers’ needs and wishes and discovering one of the simplest ways to handle them. The way you get there needs to be incidental to that aim.”