Electric scooter maker Superpedestrian said in a statement that it has raised $20 million for its diagnostic software that can spot impending hardware failure – an area that is of major concern for scooter operators.
Although electric scooters have become a popular mode of transport in many cities, with the vehicles breaking down in a matter of months costs have shot up for the startups. Electric scooter makers are now looking to improve the hardware, including scooter network operator Bird, which said it had started a program to make its electric scooters more rugged.
According to Assaf Biderman, founder and CEO of Superpedestrian, a test of 150 scooters in Washington, D.C., found that the company’s diagnostic software was able to reduce 73% in operating costs. The diagnostic software was even able to prevent some breakages, such as an overheating battery, as well as cut labor costs by pinpointing what exactly needed to be fixed.
Biderman, who is also an Associate Director of MIT’s research lab for improving cities with technology, Senseable City Lab, said technology he patented in 2014 can detect when brakes or battery fail or are about to fail and alert the operator.
Biderman views Superpedestrian as a software company rather than a hardware maker and said he would consider licensing his technology to other firms.
Superpedestrian’s latest funding round was co-led by Spark Capital, which was a seed investor in Superpedestrian, and General Catalyst. The electric scooter maker has so far raised $64 million.
Incidentally, Superpedestrian did not disclose its valuation in its latest funding round.