An e-bike sharing company co-founded by Usain Bolt appears to have shut down

An e-bike and scooter-sharing startup co-founded by Olympian Usain Bolt appears to have gone out of business, pointing to recent troubles in the micro-mobility space. TechCrunch has called. Bolt Mobility has had a presence in around five cities, including Portland, Burlington, Vermont and Richmond in California, along with others through an acquisition, and some of them are facing abandoned devices and missed calls.

“We found out[from them]a few weeks ago that Bolt was shutting down,” said a traffic planner in Chittenden County, Vermont TechCrunch. “They have disappeared, leaving devices and emails and calls unanswered. We can’t get hold of anyone but it appears they have closed in other markets as well.”

Bolt Mobility actually expanded no less than 18 months ago, buying the assets of Last Mile Holdings, which operated Gotcha and OjO Electric. This opened up 48 new stores for the company in mostly smaller cities like Raleigh, NC and Mobile, Alabama. (Bolt Mobility is not to be confused with the Bolt ridesharing and scooter app in Europe.)

However, Bolt Mobility lost its license to operate in Portland in July due to insurance issues and outstanding dues. A spokesman in Burlington said around 100 bikes were left inoperable and with dead batteries, and the city is asking the company to claim them before the state takes ownership. “All of our contacts at Bolt, including their CEO, have gone silent and have not responded to our emails,” a Burlington representative said.

As CrunchBase As previously reported, scooter startups like Bird have floundered after starting out as billionaire “unicorns.” Basically, Bird’s problem is that it charges quite a bit of money, around $6 for a 20-minute rental — quite a bit more than a subway or bus ride. Bird lost a huge amount of money in 2020 after making just $79 million in revenue, which is down 40 percent from 2019. Following a SPAC merger, the share price subsequently plummeted from $10 to just over 50 cents today.

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