Further consolidation in the micromobility industry is on the way as Nasdaq-listed Helbiz has signed a 'letter of intent' to buy shared electric mobility platform Wheels.
Helbiz has e-bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds for rent in the US and Italy, while Wheels has 8,000 vehicles deployed across US markets, including New York City, Honolulu, Austin and Los Angeles
Wheels' two-wheel vehicles are seated - differentiating them from traditional micromobility offerings of scooters or bikes - and the company has launched an integrated helmet system that can give riders access to a shareable helmet with every ride.
Being sit-down means they are "more accessible to those who may not prefer or cannot ride stand up scooters, which expands the market for micro-mobility transportation", the firms say.
“From a strategic perspective, this acquisition is expected to double revenue, expand the cities served, enhance margins, and reduce costs,” said Helbiz CEO and founder Salvatore Palella.
“Our focus is to adapt and grow with profitability at the core of every decision. This acquisition makes us even more confident in our ability to achieve that goal in the next 18 months."
He said it would also serve to show investors that "the micromobility model is sustainable through data driven, highly focused, and tightly controlled expenditures".
Marco McCottry, CEO of Wheels, said the businesses complement one another: “There is minimal overlap of city permits, and we believe the combination of our businesses can create a uniquely diversified mobility offering that generates compelling synergies across a large footprint."
The companies say the transaction is to be completed in a primarily all-stock deal.