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Uber, Lyft And Top VCs Are Pouring Billions Into ‘Micromobility’—Here’s Why

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Nowadays, to Uber somewhere has pretty much become a verb in the English language. But less than 10 years ago, no one even knew what Uber was. And Uber is rumored to be worth $120B on the public markets, should they IPO in the near future.

This might be the reason investors are flocking to bike – and scooter-sharing startups in the so-called “micromobility space.” And at sky high, unicorn-level valuations.

What’s Micromobility?

Micromobility’s an industry tackling “last-mile transportation.” Or in other words, basically that sweet spot between too far to walk, but too short to Uber.

On the heels of the booming ride-sharing industry, new modes of transportations are shooting up. Right now, there are more than 20M dockless bikes in China, electric scooters in Silicon Valley and dockless e-bikes in DC.

Who are the players?

There are four players in the micromobility space: China-based bike-sharing platforms Ofo and Hellobike, and Bird Rides and Lime, US-based scooter-sharing services. Hellobike, Rides are Lime all attained unicorn status in 2018.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…

At least before they start to beat you. Which is what happened when the arrogant Blockbuster had the chance to own Netflix but instead laughed them out of the room. Or when Uber themselves ate market shares from an ancient, archaic taxi industry.

(On a very serious note, this competition has gotten ugly. NYC cab drivers have been killing themselves, all the while protesting Uber. Although, to be fair, Uber’s been striking deals with taxis in big metros like Moscow to offer their rides through the app.)

But it would appear the ride-sharing giants have taken lessons from these experiences.

In July, Lime just secured a whopping $335M in a Series C funding round led by Google, top VCs and Uber, ironically. Lime declined to reveal their valuation, but Bloomberg reported it at $1.1B. (#Unicorn status, baby.)

That deal in particular indicates the overall bullishness of the micromobility industry, particularly on behalf of the ride-hailing giants. Uber reportedly got in the Lime deal not just for the ROI, but also to start offering scooter rentals through the Uber app itself.

Lyft’s gettin’ it in, too

Lyft, on the other hand, went direct-to-consumer, bypassing a startup to just offering electric scooters directly. Just last month, Lyft rolled out its pilot project in Denver and have since rolled out in Santa Monica and Washington DC.

“Fili-bust a move around DC on a scooter,” Lyft says on their page. (How cute. DC, politics, filibustering? Get it? Ha. Ha.)

Scooter

 

Even though Lyft is getting (and becoming) the direct plug to customers, the Lime deal puts Uber ahead in this game. They’re currently the most downloaded transportation app in the US, by a wide margin at that.

For their part, Lyft says they’ll be working closely with the cities to help them roll out  in new markets—including monitoring the Denver rollout closely for any and all negative repercussions.

“This is a new thing,” Caroline Samponaro, head of bike, scooter, and pedestrian policy at Lyft, told The Verge. “They will raise a lot of questions. So we’re going to be very hands-on.”

Regulations? Lobbying?

But here’s where it gets tricky. Uber’s had a lot of issues in certain markets, mainly due to regulations. (Which is why being hands-on may be way to go.)

Uber was forced—or elected, depending on who you ask—to leave Denmark, after “failing to persuade the government to change the law on taxis to accommodate its business model,” CNN reported last year.

And there’s still a lot of lobbying to be done. Despite its massive market, micromobility still hasn’t made it to NYC yet. But that doesn’t seem to worry investors too much.

And let’s face it: before Uber was Uber, Uber had to figure out how to get Uber approved.

Here’s a chart of the investment landscape for bike and scooter unicorns.

 

Business

The TRIBE app is LIVE!📱 Here’s how it all started…

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Last November, our TRIBAL CHIEF posed a simple question.👇

We received dozens of messages and emails from you all expressing interest in joining the collective. 👇

So, we went to work.

Within ten days, we had the first MVP (minimum viable product). So, we returned to you and asked if any of you would be willing to check it out and give us feedback, aka beta test. 👇

That following weekend, we put TRIBE in the hands of a few beta testers. Each user scanned the site, clicked every link, and pinpointed any errors during the meeting.

Armed with the feedback we collected, our team made the necessary updates to the site.

That following Monday, December 21, 2020, we conducted a special edition of our FB Live 10 Questions. We used this episode to soft launch TRIBE just to our Facebook community. In addition, we used that time to conduct a live walkthrough and answered questions we received regarding TRIBE.

After that 10 Questions session, we officially launched TRIBE and opened enrollment. We were expecting a few submissions, but instead, we received hundreds of applications!!!

Each submission allowed us to learn more about you and helped us define ways we can serve you best.  

We ask questions like

  1. What interests you the most?

  2. Have you started a business before?

  3. Have you invested (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) before?

  4. And most importantly, why do you want to join our community?

This stage of the journey is called audience development. We learned that 53% of you were entrepreneurs and that over 70% of you were super-focused on learning about investing both in the stock market and real estate.

Best of all, we discovered that 78% of you were willing to commit 5-10 years to learn how to become millionaires. Yay!🙌

Knowing your audience is so important, no matter what business or industry you’re in. With this data, we were able to craft virtual experiences that would help you reach your goals. For example, we outlined a calendar of events focused on real estate, stock investing, goal-setting, and entrepreneurship.  Graphical user interface Description automatically generated

We spent the first few weeks getting to know our founding members through virtual meetings, coaching sessions, and events.

We made a conscientious effort to communicate with members through email constantly. But we needed a better way to stay in touch and share updates. 

With that in mind, our tech team searched for a solution. In the meantime, we created a group chat through WhatsApp.

We used that chat room to share updates and connect with our members.

In February 2021, we began building the TRIBE social network platform. Our goal was to funnel all community events, updates, and networking under one umbrella.

Graphical user interface Description automatically generated

Our team spent hours designing branded creatives like banners, thumbnails and creating content like how-to articles and videos to populate the network.

We shared the upcoming news about the platform with our founding members first and asked them to check out the site and share their feedback. For the first two weeks, the TRIBE social network was exclusively available to them. However, once they gave us their approval to move forward, we opened doors to the entire wealthgang.

The platform went from founding members to thousands 💪! Not to mention 175K+ (followers, TRIBE members, app downloads, etc.) across the entire NYCE ecosystem. It feels like it all happened overnight. 🔥🔥🔥

As more members joined TRIBE, we conducted more virtual experiences. In addition, we ensured that all events were recorded in case some members were unable to attend; we could share the replay.

However, as demand for replays grew, we knew we needed a better solution to deliver on-demand access.

TRIBE TV was born. To us, it’s Netflix for financial literacy. Through TRIBE TV, you can learn at your own pace.

As the community continued to grow, we added more membership perks like 1:1 and group coaching sessions from experts and 30-day challenges.

So, what’s next for TRIBE?

Today, I am happy to announce that the TRIBE app is now officially available in the App Store and Google Play. (Here are the direct links to dowload: iOS and Android! You can also use Text Me the App here to text yourself and others a quick link to download the app.)

That’s right, a community fueled by a simple social media post has grown to thousands of members, over 100 virtual events, dozens of success stories (hey, Donna!), and now there’s a standalone app!

You know what? We could not have done it without you, our TRIBE community.  🙏

What’s the lesson in all of this? Just start. No matter where you are in life, just start. Start that blog, launch that side hustle, apply for that mortgage loan, invest in that index fund, build that website. No matter what you desire to create, just do it.

You’ll never be ready. We weren’t prepared to build a community that serves thousands. We weren’t ready to produce over 100 virtual events in less than a year. We weren’t ready to build a streaming platform. And we certainly weren’t ready to build two mobile apps in less than 12 months, but we made it happen.

Why? Quite frankly, it’s pretty simple for us. These initiatives move us one step closer to creating 100,000 millionaires. That’s the gasoline that fuels us and keeps us moving. That’s more important to us than anything else.

Through hard work and hardcore commitment, we did it! And you can too!

To recap📝:

  1. Always start with why? Our why is always to move one step closer to creating 100,000 millionaires

  2. Build an MVP

  3. Test, test, test

  4. Talk to your target audience so you can learn more about them and their needs

  5. Build solutions to their headaches

  6. Always add value

  7. Work your ass off!

P.S. Don’t forget to leave a 5-star review in your app store when you download the new TRIBE app😉! Here are the direct dowload: iOS and Android links.

P.S.S. I recommend that you also delete/disable notifications from the Mighty Networks mobile app. Otherwise, you may receive duplicate notifications about TRIBE.

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The Art And Science Of How To Keep Talented People Around

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(Editor’s Note: The following article is a guest post by superstar entrepreneur and tech investor Jonathan Schultz.)

The number one reason talented people leave their jobs is because of the failure of their direct managers. Businesses are defined by the strength of their people. Even in the most successful company (think Google, Amazon, etc.), a bad manager can drive talented employees out the door. So what is the true art and science of keeping talented people around?

SITUATIONAL LEADERSHIP

Successful managers apply targeted, dynamic coaching to each individual team member. There is not one management style that works for everyone or every situation. Managers need to adapt their approach to every situation and every team member. This is called situational leadership. This situational leadership model has been used across 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies and has received numerous accolades from training experts.

The model details how we learn new skills and the four stages of mastering new tasks. For every stage and task, managers need to adapt their approach to managing their report.

STAGE 1

When your team member approaches a new and unfamiliar task with a determination to master it, they see opportunity. They are complete beginners in execution, but they possess high motivation and low skill. In this step, the manager needs to take a highly directive approach, where they demonstrate how the task should be done, setting concrete goals and closely reviewing the report’s progress as well. You are not being a micromanager by supporting the growth and training of your team. Sometimes your team needs to use your expertise as training wheels.

STAGE 2

This stage is full of frustration. Why? Because it generally takes people more time to master a skill than they’d like. Discouragement will set it and their confidence will lower. While they have built up more skills, their confidence is at its lowest in this stage. In this stage, the manager needs to serve as a cheerleader and remind their team member of why they were chosen to do this task and remind them of how far they have already come.

STAGE 3

In the third stage, people have gained enough skill to complete the task but still maintain a mentality of imposter syndrome in which they are more skilled than their confidence allows them to believe. They may even still be discouraged. In this stage, managers need to do less guiding and allow their team member to perform while self-directly more consistently. These acts of trust can boost the team member’s confidence and their dependence on the manager will fade while their confidence increases.

STAGE 4

People reach stage four when their confidence is at the same level as their skill. They become veterans and will continue to boost their confidence and skill set. This is the stage in which the manager steps back and gives the employee the space to continue fostering growth. Check in every now and then and help as needed. Also be sure to recognize the team member for all of their accomplishments along the way.

Keeping talented people around is not hard. Managers just need to apply situational leadership and remember that every team member works and learns differently and need an environment in which they can thrive in. As the leader, you are building this environment, so make sure it is a healthy one.

Jonathan Schultz is an entrepreneur, real estate tech investor and influencer. He’s the co-founder of Onyx Equities, a leading private equity real estate firm, and has been voted one of the most powerful people in real estate. Follow Jon’s blog here

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This Guy Co-Built A $4B Company In Four Years - And He Only Works 7 Hours A Day

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Cal Henderson is pretty badass.

As co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Slack — arguably the single most crucial role in any startup — Henderson has helped build a product from zero users to four million daily in just over three years.

About a year ago (cue Shmoney Dance!), Slack announced they’d raised $200 million in its fourth round of venture capital, putting the software at a WHOPPING $3.8B valuation.

And unlike many all-time greats on #TeamNoSleep (think Leo DaVinci, Thomas Edison and Vince McMahon) — and the modern ones who call for 95-hour work weeks — this dude actually puts his Z’s atop his to-do list.

In this Inc.com piece, check out how Big Cal — at 36 — gets down on the time-management end that allows him to work less than a part-time management consultant.

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