Roll Scooters – 24 November
Roll Scooters is the leading Canadian micro-mobility start-up focused on the last-mile transportation market. Roll offers smart mobility solutions by providing dock-less electric scooters and bike-share services to cities, campuses, and businesses.
Roll’s main competitors are Lime and Bird. However, Roll Scooters has several competitive advantages over them, primarily a focus on safety. Both Bird and Lime received penalties and bans in various cities despite millions of dollars spent on lobbying. Among the emerging electric scooter operators, Roll differentiates itself by putting safety first. In order to ensure the safe use of the products, Roll has developed the following strategies:
First-Timer Speed Limit: According to a report on electric scooter injuries, 70% of the injuries occur in the first ten minutes of the first ride. In order to prevent injuries, users will be asked if they have ridden an electric scooter before unlocking. The scooter will be adjusted to a lower speed if the user has no experience riding an electric scooter to ensure safety and a better learning experience.
Free Helmet Program: Wearing a helmet is crucial to prevent injuries, and is required to be worn when riding a Roll scooter. Roll is committed to ensuring all their riders have access to a helmet, through their free helmet program.
Supply-chain Support: Utilizing Roll’s supply chain support, they have designed their own models for better safety and durability. For example, Roll scooters have front-wheel suspension for better ability to handle uneven surfaces.
Innovative Technologies: Roll’s technology consists of AI Picture Recognition to detect improper parking. Riders are required to take a picture of the scooter after they end their trip. Roll uses machine learning algorithms to determine whether the scooter was parked improperly.
Balanced Portfolio: In addition to its scooter fleet in Ottawa, Calgary, and Kelowna, Roll developed an industry-leading, electric-assisted bike. Roll believes that these 2 modes of transportation complement each other. Roll was awarded a permit to operate its electric bikes in addition to its electric scooters. Roll plans to launch electric bikes in 2021.
Roll is raising seed funding of USD $3,000,000. Up until this point they’ve been bootstrapped and were then funded by angel investors. In the future, Roll is looking to expand its team and secure operational permits from more cities.
They aim to hire talented individuals to run daily the operations for each city that Roll operates in, as well as software teams for their head office in Toronto. They want to keep designing an innovative and competitive product that can compete with the likes of Lime and Bird.
Richard (Shuan) Cao, CEO – Richard is a serial entrepreneur who operated businesses including an international trading agency, luxury goods reselling, and overseas-study service agency. He is responsible for general operations, product development, and strategic planning. He graduated from the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Arda Erturk, CCO – Arda is responsible for Roll’s communication efforts with both cities and campuses. He has deep experience in policy-making. Previously, he worked at Scotiabank as a Solutions Architect under Global Banking & Markets. He has served and been serving on boards, such as the University of Toronto Academic Board of the Governing Council, Campus Council, Council on Student Services, and numerous advisory committees.
Gurdeep Singh, COO – Gurdeep is responsible for overseeing the operations of Roll Scooters. He has 10 years of operational experience at marketplace start-ups and is the former Head of Staff at Ola Cabs, the leading ride-sharing company in India, recently valued at $7 billion. He recently completed an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (U of T) where he was also part of the student cohort at the Creative Destruction Lab (CDL).
Jack Au, CTO – Jack is responsible for technologies including fleet management systems, mobile apps, and IoT systems of scooters. He is well-experienced in project management and software development, and one of the few professional engineers in Canada certified in both cloud computing and system design. In one of his recent projects, he helped design seamless user experiences for CMEOW, Canada’s largest on-demand Asian delivery platform.
After a successful trial in Kelowna, B.C. last year, Roll expanded into Calgary in May with 500 scooters and, more recently, in Ottawa. Roll plans on looking for more opportunities to expand into other Canadian markets, particularly in Toronto, which is set to launch a pilot project for e-scooters in 2021. With Roll’s strategic partnerships with Moovit and Transit App, Roll riders can conveniently plan multimodal trips with Roll scooters, making it that much simpler to get to a variety of destinations around town!
COVID-19 has been a significant barrier for Roll’s launch initially. Fortunately, the government is more progressive about micro-mobility as riders can use these vehicles safely while practicing social distancing.
Their largest source of revenue is their riders, customers are charged by the time of the rental. It costs $1 to unlock a scooter and $0.35 per minute of riding.