E-Bike and E-Scooter startups in Korea have been growing and expanding, especially across Seoul. Starting from Gangnam station and branching out, you will see more and more E-Scooters on the streets. These micromobility startups have placed e-scooters near over 100 subway stations in Seoul. It is estimated that more than 20 companies are operating over 50,000 e-scooters and e-bikes in Seoul. However, opinions are divided amongst the citizens of Seoul as to whether these electric bikes and scooters are good for the community.

For the e-scooter/bike industry to strive in Korea moving forward, cities like Seoul need to make sure they designate where these electric bikes and scooters should be ridden and keep them safe for everyone. Through the Raod Traffic Act which went into effect in mid-2021, E-scooter riders must be 16 years of age or over, have a valid driver’s license, and wear a helmet. These new regulations are one step.

The city of Seoul announced in late 2021, that they will build over 60,000 city electric motorcycles, including e-mopeds, and install over 200,000 additional electric charging stations by 2025. In addition, they plan to replace over 35,000 gas motorcycles used by delivery services with electric motors. Their aim is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, expect to see these micromobility startups continue to get funded and succeed.

Top E-Bike and E-Scooter Startups in Korea

PUMP – Xingxing

PUMP XingxingKorean mobility startup PUMP is the operator of Xingxing, an e-scooter sharing service. It first launched in the Gangnam district and now has over 8,000 e-scooters and 50,000 weekly riders. For their part in fighting COVID-19, Xingxing sprays ethanol on all parts of the e-scooter, especially the handles every time they change its batteries.

PUMP has raised $5.2 million for its Series A round.

SWING Mobility

SWING

SWING Mobility is considered the leading last-mile mobility service provider in South Korea. They have already deployed over 28,000 e-scooters in South Korea as their service is now in more than 70 cities. All users have to do is download the SWING app and scan the QR code located on the e-scooter to ride it. They also created DAYRIDGE which offers an e-scooter and e-bike sharing service for delivery riders.

Swing raised $24 million for their Series B round in early 2022. This brings their total investment to $33 million. The funds will go towards branching out of South Korea and into Japan. Swing does not only focus on E-Scooters but also on E-Bikes and even E-Mopeds. Their goal for 2022 is to have over 100,000 of these units. Swing uses a franchise model which allows Swing to expand its units at a much faster rate than its competitors. Franchises buy the units from Swing and the franchises charge and maintain the E-scooter, E-bikes, and E-mopeds using Swing’s proprietary software. Currently, Swing has over 50 franchise partners and is expecting to double that number by the end of 2022.

Olulo – Kickgoing

Olulo LogoKorean mobility startup Olulo is the operator of the e-scooter sharing service Kickgoing. Users can download the Kickgoing app and create an account by inputting their phone numbers and credit card information. Furthermore, Kickgoing has over 600,000 users and operates over 8,000 e-scooters in Seoul.  However, in order to access the e-scooter, users will need to have a Korean driver’s license.

Once users download the app, there will be a QR code located near the handle of the scooter. A 5-minute ride costs 1,000 won. An additional minute costs 100 won. Furthermore, they got an investment of $2.5 million from Hyundai Motor Company and Magna Investment.

At night the company picks up the scooters for recharging, replacement, and relocation.

Partnership with SparkPlus

SparkPlus will cooperate with Olulo to provide a service that allows its tenants and visitors to transport in an economical and convenient manner. Therefore, together they will launch “Kickgoing Business” which will allow SparkPlus tenants to use the startup’s scooter at a discounted price.

Deer Corporation

Deer is one of the few E-Scooter startups in Korea focused on autonomous scooters. They developed an autonomous electric scooter that returns to a location designated by a service provider on its own after use. This solves the issue related to parking of e-scooters in Korea. Their electric scooter prototype utilizes depth camera technology which recognizes surroundings in 3D by sensing depths of objects. Their e-scooter with 3D depth cameras are able to establish a highly accurate map of its surroundings while on the move. Therefore, it is able to understand current location through its depth camera and move autonomously to the proper location.

It uses machine learning algorithms to reverse or perform evasion steering when it senses cars or pedestrians. The prototype is designed with two wheels in the front so that it does not fall easily compared to other e-scooters. The full commercialization of the prototype will take some time but it is one of the more innovative e-scooter startups in Korea.

Eccov

E-scooter startups in Korea

Eccov is an e-bike developer that also created an modular cargo e-bike called  E-Tricyle. The Eccov E-Tricycle can be used for food or small package deliveries. Eccov began as a startup under Hyundai Motor Group’s in-house venture before becoming independent in 2019. They have over 30 patents thanks to their constant R&D. Their E-Tricycle is the world’s first modular three-wheeled bicycle paltform utlizing automobile body prodution technology. They have been performing tests with major Korean courier companies for terminal delivery areas that vehicles can not access.

Nine2One (Elecle)

Nine2One is the operator of the e-bike/e-scooter sharing service Elecle. They were bought out by SoCar the top car shairng platform in Korea. Elecle has over 400,000 users. It is in areas near universities such as Seoul National University and Korea University where there is high demand for short-distance travel. Elecle is very easy to use. Users have to scan a QR code on the bike through the Elecle’s mobile app. After use, the bikes need to be returned to designated parking spots. App users will be required to register a credit card in advance so that paymens can be processed automatically when the bike is returned.

G-Bike

Korean startup G-Bike

G-Bike is the creator of Z-Cooter, an app-based self-drive electric scooter rental platform. Users can find a nearby scooter, scan QR-code via their app & take the scooter. After reaching the destination, users need to park the scooter at a safe place, take a parking picture & exit boarding. Their app is available for iOS & Android devices. In addition, G-Bike offers an online application to book electric scooters for its users, enabling commuters with easy mobility and is suitable for city conditions.