Chinmay Malaviya and Charlie Depman discovered themselves on the heart of the shared micromobility trade simply because it took off, working for corporations like Fowl, Lime and Scoot. They skilled a rollercoaster experience of enterprise funding and skyrocketing demand, product pitfalls and regulatory hurdles. It was within the midst of this exercise that the pair famous a shift within the trade and a possibility.
“From our vantage level there was an enormous shift occurring in mobility and transportation, when it comes to private possession,” Malaviya advised TechCrunch in an interview final month. “Individuals have been searching for their very own electrical scooter, electrical bike and electrical moped.”
Malaviya and Depman, who met on LinkedIn, decided there wasn’t an acceptable option to analysis, vet and purchase e-bikes, e-mopeds or e-scooters past Google and Amazon searches. And Ridepanda, an internet market for mild electrical automobiles, was born.
It’s protected to name the pair “mild electrical automobile” evangelists. They see Ridepanda, which raised an undisclosed quantity of seed funding from Normal Catalyst and Will Smith’s Dreamers Fund, as one of the simplest ways to ship on the mission of getting extra electrical bikes, scooters and mopeds within the public’s palms.
“We’re all for cities that may be happier and environment friendly, in the event that they run on these automobiles which can be small, quiet eco-friendly and in addition much more enjoyable,” mentioned Malaviya, who added that mild electrical automobiles are significantly well-suited for almost all of journeys folks take, which information reveals is up 5 miles.
The startup, which the pair launched in early 2020 and just lately got here out of stealth, goals to be one-stop “e-ride” store the place clients can discover a curated set of expert-vetted e-rides and a customization function that helps customers residence in on the proper product. Ridepanda launched in late September, a brand new web site with an improved consumer interface, a “ridefinder quiz” that helps folks discover the proper product in addition to different help providers. These help providers, that are bundled and branded “pandacare,” connects customers with data on insurance coverage, residence meeting, restore and upkeep plans in addition to assist discovering the proper helmet.
Guests to Ridepanda will spot the “ridefinder quiz,” which lets customers choose the electrical bike, moped or scooter icon, their top and weight, high makes use of and at last, preferences like foldable or cargo and finances. The consumer is then given just a few outcomes that finest match their alternatives. Customers can skip this course of and simply conduct searches primarily based on the three product varieties or use circumstances resembling “commute,” “journey,” “supply,” or “accessibility.”
Not simply any electrical bike, scooter or moped qualifies for Ridepanda’s web site, mentioned Depman, who’s the corporate’s CTO.
“We’ve seen like a Cambrian explosion of various automobile varieties; there are actually a whole lot of choices on the market,” mentioned Depman. “When you go on Amazon web site, you’re going to see 150-plus in every class, and it’s actually laborious to sift by means of them. So what we’ve been constructing on the again finish is a vetting system.”
For a product to be included on the platform, it should meet sure standards and ranking. The corporate charges automobiles throughout efficiency, security, sustainability, sturdiness and repairability, Depman mentioned. That ranking is achieved by evaluating all of the totally different parts of the automobile, together with the battery, motor and brakes.
Ridepanda is concentrated on the U.S. marketplace for now, significantly cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. The corporate provides clients financing and it’s even trying right into a subscription service, though it’s unclear when or if that may roll out.
“Mainly I believe we’re preventing the noise and the choice fatigue,” Malaviya mentioned.