E-Scooter Sharing Operator, Luup Raises 2 Billion Yen from Mori Trust, ESG-Focused VC, and Others

Luup, Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai; hereinafter “Luup”), which operates “LUUP,” a sharing service of “electric micromobility” including e-scooters and e-bikes, has completed raising a total of 2 billion yen.

In recognition of Luup’s ability to realize a sustainable society with low environmental impact through the implementation of electric micromobility, Luup has received investment from new investors including Mori Trust Co., Ltd. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Miwako Date; hereinafter “Mori Trust”) and Open Network Lab ESG I Investment Limited Partnership (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; General Partner: DG Incubation, Inc.; hereinafter “Earthshot Fund”) and also additional investment from several existing investors including VCs and business companies.

Using the funds, Luup will strengthen the development of its micromobility business to create a sustainable society and will continue discussions with several potential investors for further business expansion in the future.

Background of Financing

With the mission to “create an infrastructure that turns the entire city into a ‘station front.’” Luup provides sharing services using e-scooters and e-bikes, and in the future aims to introduce mobility that is easy and safe for the elderly and/or disabled to ride.

With this financing, Luup will further strengthen the development of its micromobility business to create a sustainable society. Luup has been driving the project in discussions with local governments and relevant ministries and agencies, with the goal of creating an infrastructure that will turn the entire city into a ‘station front.’ However, in order for new products to spread in society, we must propose and be responsible for delivering higher quality and pleasant experiences as an infrastructure than ever before. With this financing, we will establish a development structure that can make better use of the data possessed by the product and quickly test hypotheses, and promote research and development of the micromobility business that goes beyond the accelerated development of LUUP.

Details of the Financing

Logos of selected investors who invested in this round

In recognition of the fact that the implementation of electric micromobility can realize a sustainable society with a low environmental impact, Luup has attracted new investors including Mori Trust, Earthshot Fund, ZFP No. 1 Investment Limited Partnership (Location: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; General Partner: Zenrin Future Partners Co., Ltd.; hereinafter “Zenrin Future Partners”), and also additional investment from several existing investors including Daito Trust Construction Co., Ltd. (Head office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Katsuma Kobayashi; hereinafter “Daito Trust Construction”) and other VCs and business companies. Together with the 750 million yen in funding already raised in April 2021, this round brings the total funding raised to 2 billion yen.

With Mori Trust, we will work together to create a new way of urbanization and tourism using micromobility in the office areas that Mori Trust is focusing on, such as Toranomon and Akasaka in Tokyo, as well as in the resort areas that they are developing in various parts of Japan.

For Earthshot Fund, Luup is the first investment since the fund was founded. We are honored that the fund, which conducts investment activities with a focus on major social, technological, and environmental changes occurring on a global scale, has recognized our work, and we will continue to develop our business in line with the fund’s ESG initiatives.

Zenrin Co. Ltd. (Hereinafter “Zenrin”), the parent company of Zenrin Future Partners, and Luup will combine Zenrin’s granular map data on local buildings, sidewalks, and roadways with Luup’s mobility data to improve the functionality of safe and efficient services and develop new services.

Daito Trust Construction manages the largest number of residential rental buildings in Japan, and Luup will continue to strengthen the implementation of LUUP ports in properties managed by Daito Trust Construction, aiming to realize “a town or house you would want to live in if it has LUUP”.

Comment from Daiki Okai, CEO of Luup

Luup is creating a product called “LUUP,” which allows electric micromobility to be shared throughout the city, with the mission to “create an infrastructure that turns the entire city into a ‘station front.’”

Luup has focused not only on the development of software and hardware that shape the user experience but also on activities such as rulemaking for social implementation of new mobility and alliances to expand the number of ports. As a result, we were able to install more ports than convenience stores in Shibuya, an overcrowded city with little available real estate space, and the number of app downloads and users has continued to grow rapidly since the e-scooter was launched on April 23, 2021, under special government measures.

It has been about three years since Luup was founded, and I believe that Luup has finally reached its starting point. In order to make Japanese cities, which have the most developed railroads and station areas in the world, more comfortable to live in, we will accelerate our efforts to create the world’s one and only product by considering the most appropriate form of infrastructure.

We have raised additional funds to enable all teams involved in LUUP to achieve maximum performance. The investors who participated in this round made the decision to invest and collaborate with us because they believe in a future where LUUP, which is still in its infancy at this point, will become a sustainable infrastructure that will support Japan. The entire Luup team will continue to make every effort to “create an infrastructure that turns the entire city into a ‘station front’ for the sake of all the people who live in the city and for the investors who participated in this financing.

Luup Launches Japan’s First Helmet-Wearing-Optional E-Scooter Sharing App on April 23

Luup, Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai; hereinafter “Luup”) announces the launch of its e-scooter sharing app on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5:00 pm. The e-scooter will be introduced within the app of the next-generation electric shared cycle “LUUP,” which has already been released. This will be the first e-scooter sharing service in Japan where helmets are optional under a special government measure. Since this service is also a demonstration experiment of new mobility, a safety workshop will be held at Miyashita Park (*1) during the Golden Week holidays from Thursday, April 29 to Wednesday, May 5.

(*1 If the state of emergency is declared, the decision to hold a safety workshop will be made in accordance with the policies of the facility holding the safety workshop and the parties involved. In case of cancellation, we will announce in advance via our corporate website and official Twitter account.)

Image 1: Image of e-scooter running

Background

With the mission to “create an infrastructure that turns the entire city into a ‘station front,’” Luup is developing a sharing service for electric, compact, and single-passenger micromobility vehicles. Luup aims to establish first and last-mile transportation by offering not only e-bikes and e-scooters, but by providing a comprehensive offering of electric, compact, and single-passenger electric micromobility, and create a future where all people can move freely.

Luup has been offering the “LUUP” sharing app using e-bikes since May 2020. In anticipation of the introduction of e-scooters, we developed e-bikes the same size as an e-scooter, enabling the installation of ports in space-saving locations. As a result, high-density sharing has been realized, with the highest density of ports in the available area. The introduction of e-scooters in this service is expected to provide a more convenient short-distance transportation, as well as the collection of riding data that is expected to lead to the discovery of issues for the future rulemaking for e-scooters.

The e-scooter to be introduced in the “LUUP” app is one of the electric micromobility that is widely used in the world. It has the following features and is becoming popular around the world as a new means of transportation that avoids close-contact during covid pandemic.

– There is no need to straddle or pedal, so even people in skirts and suits can ride

– Users can stop immediately when they feel danger because their feet are close to the ground

– The installed IoT device allows area-specific and user-specific control for safe driving in the future

On the other hand, e-scooters are classified as “motorized bicycles” under Japan’s current law, which imposes riding conditions that make it difficult for them to become widely used, which include: wearing a helmet, having a license plate and a side-view mirror, having a driver’s license, and riding only on the road. In an effort to optimize regulations and make rules, Luup has established an industrial association called the “Micromobility Promotion Council,” which has held discussions with related ministries and agencies and conducted a series of demonstration experiments under various conditions. The demonstration experiment plan of Luup was approved on Friday, April 23, 2021 under the “New Business Exception System” under the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act, and the sharing service has now been launched.

Image 2: Luup has been providing a series of step-by-step demonstrations of e-scooters as well as an e-bike sharing app.

Service Details

Image 3: The mobility at LUUP will be updated in stages. In addition to e-bikes, the introduction of e-scooters has now started.

– Description: E-scooter and e-bike sharing app
– Available Areas: All of Shibuya, Shinjuku, Shinagawa, Setagaya, Minato and Meguro wards where LUUP is already available
– Pricing: 110 yen/first 10 minutes, 16.5 yen/minute (tax included) *Special price for the demonstration experiment
– Number of Ports: Approximately 200 of LUUP’s 300 ports in Tokyo allow users to get on and off e-scooters. The number of ports will be increased gradually.
– Number of E-Scooters: Starting with 100. The number of units will be increased gradually.
– Maximum Speed of E-Scooters: Limited to 15 km/hr
– Conditions of Use: The e-scooters must be used after (1) registering a driver’s license and (2) passing a perfect score on the test to confirm driving rules via the app. Users only using e-bikes do not need to go through these steps.
– Insurance: Property damage, bodily injury, and personal injury are covered by the insurance.
– Note: For safety reasons, we voluntarily prohibit riding on roads where there is a significant amount of vehicle traffic. Roads that are off-limits are indicated in the app, and users are urged to detour around them.

Image 4: A port map of LUUP. Realized the highest density of port installation in the available area.

Details of the Safety Workshop to be Held at Miyashita Park

Since this service is also a demonstration experiment of new mobility, a safety workshop will be held at Miyashita Park during Golden Week from Thursday, April 29 to Wednesday, May 5.

– Content: Lecture on how to ride the e-scooter and use the LUUP app
– Date: Thursday, April 29, 2021 to Wednesday, May 5, 2021
– Time: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
– Location: Shibuya Ward Miyashita Park 1F, space next to adidas (6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
– How to Participate: Please come to the venue during the event time. No prior reservation is required.
– Participation Fee: Free
– Regarding Prevention Measures against Coronavirus Disease: Masks must be worn at all times, temperature checks and alcohol disinfection to be done at the event site

If a state of emergency is declared, the decision to hold a safety workshop will be made in accordance with the policies of the facility holding the safety workshop and the parties involved. In case of cancellation, we will announce in advance via our corporate website and official Twitter account.

How to Use

1. Download “LUUP” and register as a member. App download link: https://luup.onelink.me/Myjb/cfcdb04a
2. Register your driver’s license and take the test to confirm driving rules from the Account Settings screen. It is recommended that you complete the test in advance as it may take some time for approval.
3. Locate the port where you would like to start your ride from the map screen. From the Port Details screen, you can confirm if the port has an e-scooter.
4. Press the “Unlock” button to activate the camera and scan the QR code.
5. Select the destination port and reserve a place to return the e-scooter. The destination port can be changed later.
6. Once the smart lock is unlocked, the e-scooter will emit a sound and the speed display LCD will turn on. Enjoy your ride safely.
7. Upon arrival at the destination port, please return the e-scooter within the frame line.
8. When you send the photo of your return, your payment is completed and your ride is over. *While riding the e-scooter, you can pause the ride, but cannot make an emergency stop outside of the port.

Others – User Guide for E-Scooters https://luup.zendesk.com/hc/ja/sections/1500001008561

[How to ride the e-scooters]
1. Kick the ground for initial speed and place both feet on the e-scooter.
2. Press the throttle slowly to accelerate electrically.
3. Make a gentle turn while kicking the ground with your feet.
4. Under the new special measures, a person pushing a motorized scooter is considered a pedestrian. When making a right turn on a busy road, it is recommended to get off from the e-scooter at the intersection and push the e-scooter across the pedestrian crossing.
5. There is a brake similar in shape to that of a bicycle at hand. When stopping, brake slowly. You can also stop with your feet.

Notes

Please make sure you have proper knowledge of traffic laws and regulations before riding an e-scooter. In particular, please note the following:
– Riding on sidewalks is prohibited.
– If there is a bicycle lane on the road, please ride in the lane.
– On roads with vehicle traffic zones, you must ride in the first vehicle traffic zone counting from the left edge of the road.
– A hook turn is prohibited for LUUP’s e-scooters.

Future Plans

We will be gradually increasing the number of ports and the number of e-scooters available. We also plan to introduce e-scooters to Osaka by the summer. Through this service, we will continue to consider rulemaking for the safe and convenient social implementation of e-scooters and collect data for this purpose.

About Luup, Inc.
Luup, Inc. will create a new short-distance mobility infrastructure that makes the entire city “a station front” through the sharing business of electric, compact, and single-passenger micromobility. 2 ongoing projects include: “demonstration of a new vehicle” to safely and conveniently use new mobility such as e-scooters in Japan, and “demonstration of a new sharing service” to validate the shared mobility experience.
– Location: 16F Link Square Shinjuku, 5-27-5 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0051
– Financial Institutions: Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, MUFG Bank, Mizuho Bank
– Representative: Daiki Okai
– Founded: July 2018
– Service URL: https://luup.sc/

● President and CEO of Luup, Inc. Daiki Okai Profile
After graduating from the University of Tokyo’s Faculty of Agriculture, Daiki worked at a strategy consulting firm, mainly in charge of PMI for listed companies and business DD for PE funds. After that, he founded Luup, Inc. In May 2019, he established the Micromobility Promotion Council, which aims to promote the social implementation of new micromobility technologies, with major e-scooter operators in Japan, and became its chairman. He was selected for “Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia” in April 2021.

Press Contact
● Luup, Inc.
Public Relations: Misato Matsumoto
E-mail: pr@luup.co.jp

Announcing “LUUP,” an E-Bike Sharing Service as a Non-‘Three Cs’ Means of Transportation

Luup, Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai; hereinafter “Luup”) will begin offering “LUUP,” a short-distance e-bike sharing service, in Tokyo on May 25, 2020 (*1).

Image 1: Image of LUUP’s service

What is LUUP?

LUUP is a sharing service that allows users to ride electric micromobility vehicles throughout the city from anywhere and return them to anywhere they wish. In the future, we plan to introduce a variety of electric micromobility within the service, but will start with the sharing of e-bikes. The service has the highest density of ports among existing bicycle-sharing service operators in the available area.

Ports are places where LUUP mobility vehicles can be borrowed and returned. Since we use compact e-bikes, LUUP’s ports can be installed in the space of a single vending machine. This allows ports to be installed in places that were previously unfeasible, such as next to the entrance of a convenience store or restaurant. Compared to existing sharing services, the ability to install ports in a variety of spots realizes our high-density port network and easy access to places that are too far to walk from the nearest station.

Background

Currently, the spread of the new coronavirus infection has prompted a review of public transportation and an urgent need to establish a lifestyle within walking or biking distance from home. The “New Lifestyle” announced by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare on May 4, 2020, recommends walking and bicycling as a means of transportation to avoid “Three Cs (crowded places, close-contact settings, and closed spaces).” Luup will leverage the three features of the “LUUP” sharing service to realize a society where people can move around with peace of mind in the post-corona era.

  1. High density of ports allows sharing to be used anywhere, just like owning a bicycle
  2. The strong electric assistance and compact size of the vehicle allow anyone to ride comfortably without getting tired
  3. Replace e-bikes with new mobility such as e-scooters in the future to meet a wide range of needs

Outlook for the Future

Luup will enable a future in which all people can choose a mobility experience tailored to their needs, physical capabilities, and individual preferences.

Signed an Alliance Agreement with Hamamatsu City, Nara City, Yokkaichi City, Tama City and Yokose Town

Luup, Inc. (Head office: Shibuya-ku, Tokyo; President and CEO: Daiki Okai), an operator of e-scooter sharing service, signed a memorandum of understanding of alliance with Hamamatsu City in Shizuoka Prefecture, Nara City in Nara Prefecture, Yokkaichi City in Mie Prefecture, Tama City in Tokyo, and Yokoze Town in Saitama Prefecture.

Photo (left to right): Mr. Urano, Deputy Mayor of Tama City; Mr. Tomita, Mayor of Yokoze Town; Mr. Suzuki, Mayor of Hamamatsu City; Mr. Okai, President and CEO of Luup, Inc.; Mr. Mori, Mayor of Yokkaichi City; Mr. Umemori, Director of Tourism and Economy Department of Nara City

Outlook for the Future

Through this alliance, Luup, Inc. will proceed with a demonstration experiment toward launching the e-scooter sharing service “LUUP.” In the effort of  implementing e-scooter sharing and assurance of safety, as well as port installation, we aim to provide a service over the medium to long term that will improve the efficiency of each city residents’ daily transportation and help revitalize the local economy.