Micromobility’s 15,000-mile checkup

Will the micromobility market boom or bust? With billions already invested, here’s an assessment of its potential

Is the buzz surrounding shared micromobility1 overwhelming its real-world potential? The business model has gained tremendous attention recently, as interest builds and new investment dollars flood into the space. But questions concerning the ultimate size and scope of the shared micromobility market have also emerged.

Micromobility rapidly attracts cash and customers

Stakeholders have invested more than $5.7 billion in micromobility start-ups since 2015, with more than 85 percent targeting China. The market has already attracted a strong customer base and has done so roughly two to three times faster than either car sharing or ride hailing. In just a few years, for instance, several micromobility start-ups have amassed valuations that exceed $1 billion.

Two circumstances have driven this accelerated expansion. First, most launches of shared micromobility take place in conducive environments. Urban consumers already value and use solutions for shared mobility, such as car sharing, ridesharing, and e-hailing. What’s more, micromobility appears to make people happy—it’s faster than car-based trips in many situations, and users often say the freedom of being in the fresh air traveling to their destinations while avoiding traffic jams puts a smile on their face. Micromobility is perceived as “intuitive mobility” by design—it’s easy and liberating to buzz through traffic. It’s really quite simple: people feel rejuvenated, and the experience takes them back to their first time riding a bicycle or a scooter.

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SOURCE: McKinsey & Company

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