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What is the required initial investment to launch your own shared mobility venture?

scooter initial investment atom mobility

With the shared mobility industry poised for significant growth, attracting up to $1 trillion in consumer spending by 2030, it's no wonder that entrepreneurs are enticed by this thriving market.

However, while the prospects may be promising, shared mobility isn't a shortcut to instant and massive returns on investment, as some may suggest.

In this article, we provide a practical assessment of the financial commitment required to kickstart your shared mobility venture.

Exploring the Necessary Capital:

Drawing on our experience in supporting over 100 entrepreneurs worldwide, BSKL Mobility is well-equipped to shed light on the financial aspects of launching a shared mobility business. We'll delve into essential expenses, including vehicle acquisition, software development, insurance, and operational costs, enabling you to make informed decisions and embark on your entrepreneurial journey confidently.

Vehicle Costs in USD:

The most significant initial expense for a shared mobility business is acquiring vehicles. Here's an approximate cost for a single vehicle in US dollars:

  • Scooters: $850-$1,125

  • E-bikes: $1,470-$2,812

  • Mopeds: $2,250-$4,500

  • Cars: $14,100-$23,500

Leasing options are available, especially for startups, though securing leasing agreements can be challenging without an established business track record.

The choice of vehicles depends on your business model, whether you aim to offer budget-friendly or premium options. High-end scooters from brands like Segway and Äike can cost over $1,000 per vehicle, while budget-friendly scooters can be found for as low as $400, although they may come with certain considerations.

Ideal Fleet Size for Scooter-Sharing Startups: Assuming you've made decisions regarding vehicle models and brands, the next question is: How many vehicles should you initially acquire? What's the optimal fleet size for a successful launch?

We'll focus on scooters, favored by many startups due to their affordability.

Startups typically begin with fleets of various sizes, with some opting for as few as 20 scooters in their inaugural season, gradually expanding to over 100 vehicles in subsequent seasons, possibly diversifying into cars and other transportation modes.

Nevertheless, commencing with a larger fleet offers notable advantages. A larger fleet enhances brand visibility, accelerating the adoption of shared mobility within the local community. Moreover, a larger fleet expedites the integration of shared mobility into people's daily commuting routines.

It's worth noting that operating costs tend to remain relatively stable for fleets of up to 200 vehicles. Beyond this threshold, expansion often requires additional team members, more vans, a larger warehouse, and extra technicians. Therefore, starting with a larger number of vehicles initially can be a cost-effective strategy.

Maintenance and Insurance Considerations for BSKL Mobility When operating a shared mobility business, you must factor in maintenance and insurance costs.

On average, approximately 10-15% of your fleet will require ongoing maintenance, which can vary depending on the brand and model of your vehicles.

With a smaller fleet of 20 scooters, it's statistically likely that 2-3 units will need repairs at any given time. Unfortunately, if your fleet experiences a series of unfortunate incidents, this percentage can quickly rise, leading to a reduction in the number of revenue-generating scooters.

Securing third-party public liability insurance for smaller fleets, a legal requirement to protect pedestrians and riders in case of accidents, can be a challenging endeavor. Regardless of fleet size, operators are obligated to pay an annual premium.

This means that smaller fleets, such as those with only 20 scooters, could end up paying the same premium as fleets with 150 scooters. For smaller businesses, this expense can be quite burdensome and challenging to manage. Therefore, insurance costs are another compelling reason to contemplate starting with a larger fleet.

On average, insurance costs around $9 per scooter per month (paid annually) for fleets ranging from 100 to 200 scooters. These costs may fluctuate based on the specific coverage requirements stipulated by local authorities.

Aim for 100 Scooters – or 50 If You're Tight on Budget Considering factors like brand visibility, maintenance, and insurance, it's advisable for new operators to target a fleet size of at least 50 scooters. This is a cost-effective choice, especially in areas with strong market demand. A fleet of this size can also serve as a market test run to assess reception.

However, for a more robust start, an ideal fleet size would be 100 scooters.

As previously mentioned, the operating costs for both 50 and 100 vehicles are quite similar. Nevertheless, opting for 100 vehicles instead of 50 can result in double the revenue. This revenue boost can facilitate business sustainability and growth while contributing to enhanced brand visibility over the long term.

Shared Mobility Software Costs and Considerations Once your fleet is in order, the next step is acquiring suitable software.

In shaping your brand identity, the software you choose is as pivotal as the vehicles you offer. While having an impressive fleet is important, neglecting the software aspect of your shared mobility service can hinder success. Users should be able to easily locate, book, and pay for rides without any hassle.

Regarding white-label software pricing, it typically involves an initial setup fee and a monthly subscription fee based on the number of vehicles or a dynamic pricing model per usage.

Setup fees for white-label software generally range from $4,000 to $10,000, contingent on the provider and included features. Monthly fees will fluctuate according to fleet size or usage.

BSKL Mobility's white-label software offers a diverse range of setup options, catering to fleets of all sizes, from the smallest to over 5,000 vehicles. There's also a special plan for those starting with 20 or fewer vehicles, which doesn't require a setup fee. This provides an economical way to test the market and embark on your venture without significant initial costs.


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