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E-scooter unicorn is on the verge of extinction in Vienna

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E-scooter unicorn is on the verge of extinction in Vienna

It is not only a shock for the company concerned, but also a huge surprise for its direct competitors: As Trending Topics found out from well-informed sources over the weekend, the e-scooter provider Tier Mobility will soon lose its operating license in Vienna . Because the city has awarded concessions in a tender for only four companies that are allowed to set up the scooters on the street for rent via app. The surprising result: The German tech company with unicorn status does not get a chance, but a company from Sweden and three from the United States do.

Five companies applied to the EU-wide tender by the City of Vienna for four operators who “fulfil the city’s strict requirements as best as possible” (more on this below). These were given points by the City of Vienna, resulting in the following ranking:

  1. Voi Technology (Schweden)
  2. Link by Superpedestrian (USA)
  3. Lime (USA)
  4. Bird (USA)
  5. Tier Mobility (Deutschland)

What is remarkable about the ranking is not only that Tier ended up in fifth and last place and thus loses its operating license, but also that Voi, in first place, is not even active in Austria. At the end of 2022, Voi communicated that it wanted to start in Vienna in 2023. An alcohol test was announced in the app used to rent the scooters. users who upload selfies with a helmet should also get points for free rides. It is possible that Voi could score with the city with such concepts and distinguish itself from other providers.

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Tier actually always closely connected with Vienna

Tier Mobility is out, according to reports, the German provider is said to have received less than 50 out of 100 possible points. Past behavior was also evaluated when allocating the four slots to the providers. “Everyone on the scene is surprised, speechless and negatively overwhelmed,” a person familiar with the matter told Trending Topics. Tier Mobility, even its competitors were convinced, would have been considered fixed – partly because the company had actually done best in the past, for example in terms of response time to complaints. Tier is also technically ahead: only Berliner and Lime currently offer interchangeable batteries, only Tier scooters have indicators.

However: Tier’s competitors were recently quite friendly to the city of Vienna. You can read about Voi’s PR-technical charm offensive here, and Link also made an effort in a recent spring campaign to take up the cause of “e-scooter safety in Vienna”. Meanwhile, Lime partnered with the Vienna Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired to communicate rules for the safe parking of e-scooters and e-bikes. Because of the lopsided economic situation, Bird probably had other things on its agenda anyway, and Tier didn’t agree with the PR canon of the others.

Catastrophe for animal mobility

For Tier Mobility, the expected end in Vienna is particularly bitter. First of all, more than 35 employees are affected. The Austrian capital was the first metropolis ever where the provider around founder Laurence Leuschner started in October 2018. This was followed by larger and larger financing rounds until unicorn status was achieved. The Berlin startup is now represented in 560 cities in 31 countries worldwide. There is also a special proximity to Vienna because Tier Mobility operates the city of Vienna’s bike-sharing service called “WienMobil Rad” with 3,000 bicycles and over 240 stations via the subsidiary nextbike, which was acquired in 2021.

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Most recently, Tier Mobility was affected by the scooter ban in Paris. There, after a citizens’ vote, e-scooter fleets will be banned from the French metropolis on September 1st. The last three remaining operators are affected, namely Lime, Dott and Tier. The irony of the story: in response to the Paris decision, Tier named Vienna as a positive example. “The move away from shared e-scooters also means that Paris is isolating itself from the rest of the world, as major capitals like Washington, Madrid, Rome, London, Berlin or Vienna all take action to promote e-scooters to reduce unnecessary car travel to reduce,” it said recently.

Tier Mobility kauft Bike-Sharing-Pionier nextbike

New e-scooter rules from May 1st

The new rules for e-scooters in Vienna should come into force on May 1st. Then there will be a ban on parking on the sidewalk, instead e-scooters should be parked on marked parking spaces where 8 to 10 people can park. At the beginning there should be 130 of these parking spaces, by the end of the year 200, and in 2024 another 100 should be added. If there is no parking space nearby, the scooters would have to be parked in a parking lane. The operators themselves are held accountable, and they face penalties if they violate these and other rules.

The number of e-scooters in Vienna will also decrease significantly. In future, a maximum of 500 scooters may be parked in the Inner City district, which is a fifth of the vehicles previously permitted. In districts 2 to 9 and in the 20th district there is a limit of 1,500 scooters in total. To this end, the city is striving to increase the number of e-scooters in the outer districts, where the density of public transport is no longer as high.

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City of Vienna brings new e-scooter rules – parking ban on sidewalks

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