E-scooters or electric bikes is the latest trend all over the world and it has not spared the European market as well. But if you were looking to hire an electric scooter from e-scooter startup Lime in Switzerland during your next vacation, then you must know that the startup has halted its services in the country.
Recent reports claim that Lime has abruptly halted its services for throwing riders mid-ride and causing injuries to some. Uber-backed Lime has reportedly raised between $2 to $3 billion valuations and has pulled its entire fleet of electric two-wheelers in Switzerland in Basel and Zurich.
Founded in 2017 by Brad Bao, the company intends to carry out safety checks now, to find out what exactly went wrong, when several passengers faced injuries during their ride when the e-scooters braked jammed abruptly during usage.
Investigations are going on
Following the various reports, Lime sent out a notice to its users noting that the company is investigating if the malfunction was due to a software glitch. Reportedly, it is believed that a software update caused the scooter to reboot during the ride engaging its anti-theft immobilisation system.
While its service has been disrupted in Switzerland, the startup offers its users a free 15-minute credit. This can be used when the service restores its e-scooter rental in the region. However, there is no word regarding when exactly this service will be restored.
Safety concerns of Lime riders
Lately, there were several complaints regarding riders getting injured due to the abrupt malfunction of the Lime scooters. Such incidents raised concerns regarding the safety of its e-scooters among users.
Earlier, the Lime scooters manufactured by Okai, a Chinese company were said to be flawed. And, Lime said that it has removed the scooters made by this company as these were claimed to endanger riders.
Expanded to 25 European cities
Lime launched its e-scooter-rental service in many cities in the European continent last summer. It started with Paris with serious ambitions and expanded its services to around 25 cities in Europe by the end of 2018. When it comes to Switzerland, Lime had nearly 550 scooters in operation. However, not all the cities have electric scooters.
In July 2018, the startup raised $335 million funding from Alphabet’s tech investing group GV along with new investors such as Atomico, Alphabet, IVP, Research Company, Fidelity Management and Uber.
Previously, Andreessen Horowitz and Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund were also among the investors. On the whole, the startup has raised €425 million funding.
Already halted services in Madrid
Lime has not only halted service in Switzerland. In December 2018, Lime and its rivals such as Voi and Wind were asked to halt their e-scooter business in Madrid, as the city claimed these businesses were creating a safety hazard due to a series of accidents.
Crowded e-scooter market
Lime is not the only e-scooter rental service provider in Europe. There are other similar service providers such as Bird also from the US and domestic startups such as Dott, Voi, Wind and Taxify. Even VW is all set to enter this category.
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more updates in the tech startup world.