In 2011 Horace Luke and Matt Taylor, former executives at HTC, came together and secured $50 million in funding to start the project from a “variety of influential Asian investors, including Dr. Samuel Yin of Ruentex Group and Cher Wang of HTC.” Gogoro has secured an additional $100 million to aid in its 2015 Smartscooter rollout.
Luke and Taylor have extensive experience in mobile phone technology and both spent multiple years working for Microsoft prior to HTC as well. For the Smartscooter/GoStation project Gogoro has also partnered with Panasonic “to deliver on the smart cities vision through a variety of innovations and industry firsts.” One of the first items to come from the Panasonic partnership is the Gogoro-designed battery, which utilizes Panasonic’s cylindrical 18650-size automotive-grade lithium-ion energy cells.
(Includes short vid of battery charging "station"/pack swaps.)Gogoro announced today that it will launch its funky electric scooters in Amsterdam in the first half of 2016. That means the startup must also build a charging network for its e-bikes where owners can swap packs to get a fully-charged battery. The smart scooters will hit additional European cities later in 2016.
The startup last week secured US$130 million in series B funding, with investors including battery cell supplier Panasonic.
Deutsch sprechen?Gogoro Inc., an electric scooter-maker backed by Panasonic Corp., is joining with Robert Bosch GmbH to bring a vehicle-sharing program to Europe as the company seeks to expand beyond its home market of Taiwan.
Starting Wednesday, Berliners will be able to use a smartphone app to locate, book and pay for a battery-powered moped to zip through the city. The program is similar to public bicycle-renting programs such as City Bike in New York, but users can drop the scooter off directly at their destination without parking it at a central docking station. The startup is working with Coup, a subsidiary of German industrial technology firm Bosch, and Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures to build the scooter-sharing software.
"proprietary charging stations"? OooopsGogoro: because Taiwan missed the memo on electric scooters
We’ll count Taiwan’s Gogoro scooter company as belonging to the greater China area for the purposes of this list, because the company is too interesting to ignore.
It wouldn’t be quite correct to call Gogoro a moped startup. It’s more like a hybrid between an electrical infrastructure firm and a scooter company. That’s because Gogoro is one of the first companies to try and take on Taiwan’s obsession with gas-powered scooters, and it’s doing so by building its own island-wide network of battery charging stations.
The Gogoro moped – read our review here https://www.techinasia.com/gogoro-ebike-scooter-taiwan– went on sale in Taipei this summer, the culmination of the startup’s bike and battery building spree since it was formed in 2011. Its launch was followed by a November series B fundraising round of US$130 million and, just a few weeks later, news that the company would be making its first moves outside of Taiwan.
Asia’s ebike enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer, though. The company’s first international foray will be in Amsterdam, with plans to roll out in the first half of 2016. Gogoro says other European cities are in the pipeline for later next year.
We’ll be keeping an eye on how the company brings both its bikes and its proprietary charging stations to Europe. This is one startup that’s definitely worth keeping an eye on – lest, with its bikes’ top speed of 95kph, it zips right by.
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