Ford Acquires Scooter Start-up Spin

November 8, 2018

Ford acquired scooter start-up Spin. The company, which is based in San Francisco, will continue to operate as a stand alone business within Ford Smart Mobility. Spin Co-Founder and President Euwyn Poon explains how this deal will impact Spin's position in the e-scooer space.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Speaker 1: All right let's bring in the other company here.

Speaker 1: The president and co-founder of

Speaker 1: Spin is joining us now Euwyn Poon.

Speaker 1: Euwyn, it's great to see you again.

Speaker 1: I saw you back in June there,

Speaker 1: so it was nice to see your company grow so quickly.

Speaker 1: Congratulations on the deal.

Speaker 1: How does it impact your position,

Speaker 1: Spin's position in E-scooter space?

Speaker 2: Thanks. I think it's a big turning point here that we

Speaker 2: see a couple of

Speaker 2: leading companies take very hyper progressive approaches,

Speaker 2: and we always stuck by our principles

Speaker 2: first and partnership promise with cities and campuses.

Speaker 2: I think it's, it's uh, now

Speaker 2: with the capital and the partner with

Speaker 2: a long term brand like Ford behind us

Speaker 2: and I think we're about to make a big difference.

Speaker 2: And we are here for the long term I think that

Speaker 2: we always thought about

Speaker 2: this product and solutions is one that will

Speaker 2: be here for the next decade,

Speaker 2: plus as we're really

Speaker 2: improving my group of building cities.

Speaker 2: So I think that's,

Speaker 2: I think we'll see a big shakeup in the space,

Speaker 2: and we're going to make a run for

Speaker 2: it as a company doing things the right way.

Speaker 3: Bird and Lime, both valued at north

Speaker 3: of a billion dollars here as we're watching,

Speaker 3: how does this teaming up with Ford really

Speaker 3: position you to better

Speaker 3: compete against those two big names?

Speaker 2: Certainly on the capital side,

Speaker 2: this is not just an acquisition

Speaker 2: it's an acquisition where we will

Speaker 2: be provided tremendous resources as

Speaker 2: a standalone business unit to really compete.

Speaker 2: And I think that that's been,

Speaker 2: that's been a one area where certain Bird and

Speaker 2: Lime had pulled ahead in the early months of this race.

Speaker 2: But whereas we really focused

Speaker 2: on the policy side of things and really created

Speaker 2: this framework in cities across the

Speaker 2: U.S.. And now with the right capital partner

Speaker 2: and a company like Ford and a brand,

Speaker 2: and a trusted brand like that behind us,

Speaker 2: I think that we're poised to,

Speaker 2: to really capture a large portion

Speaker 2: of the market share and certainly

Speaker 2: really innovating the space,

Speaker 2: both continuing on the policy side and how

Speaker 2: cities interact with my probability, as well as on,

Speaker 2: on the product itself, teaming

Speaker 2: up with another manufacturer

Speaker 2: with more than 100 years of

Speaker 2: legacy really creates new opportunities.

Speaker 1: Right, absolutely, and as Brad mentioned you know,

Speaker 1: you have two really big companies

Speaker 1: that grew really quickly not unlike yourself,

Speaker 1: but they also seem to

Speaker 1: suck a lot of the oxygen out of the room,

Speaker 1: having raised hundreds of millions of dollars.

Speaker 1: I know you guys had just raised

Speaker 1: about 8 million and you were in due and in the process of

Speaker 1: raising a 125 million in a security token offering.

Speaker 1: What is the status of that security token offering,

Speaker 1: or would you still go through with it,

Speaker 1: is that already done?

Speaker 1: And had you felt before this acquisition here,

Speaker 1: difficulty in raising money when you had

Speaker 1: these two big competitors in the same environment?

MALE_1: Apple's always competitive obviously.

MALE_1: Um, no, we, uh, we are not proceeding with any-

MALE_1: we have not actually proceeded with

MALE_1: any security token offering.

MALE_1: We, you know, that was speculation at the time.

MALE_1: Uh, we definitely have looked at

MALE_1: different angles in terms of financing,

MALE_1: uh, but now that's sort of a

MALE_1: secondary priority now with, uh,

MALE_1: with Ford- Ford backing us and- and being

MALE_1: the primary sponsor here, uh, where, you know,

MALE_1: we get to really focus on what we do best,

MALE_1: which is, uh, on the policy side

MALE_1: and innovating on- on the product side as well.

MALE_1: Uh, and I think that- that really

MALE_1: makes a- a formidable competitor now.

MALE_1: Uh, one of the big three software companies.

MALE_2: So, as we're watching additionally

MALE_2: Ford really grow out its technological component,

MALE_2: its positioning as a technology company

MALE_2: in the automotive space here,

MALE_2: where do you guys fall into

MALE_2: their broader network that they're

MALE_2: also trying to build up?

MALE_1: So, we fit within the Ford Smart Mobility unit and, um,

MALE_1: I'm happy to differ Ford generally, by, you know,

MALE_1: their future plans in terms of where this is all going.

MALE_1: But the way I see it, um,

MALE_1: we're going to be a very important consumer facing

MALE_1: brand as this- this new sector emerges.

MALE_1: I think that, uh,

MALE_1: Bill Ford himself has recognized

MALE_1: a need for- for Ford to transition just

MALE_1: from a company that makes cars into one

MALE_1: that is building sustainable,

MALE_1: uh, mobility solutions and scooters just represent,

MALE_1: uh, the first phase of this.

MALE_1: And it's going to be really exciting journey.

MALE_1: And, uh, I think this- the SPIN team is

MALE_1: really- they're really excited to be part of this, uh,

MALE_1: and- and they're really, uh,

MALE_1: being the fore runners,

MALE_1: part of this big experiment

MALE_1: that Ford is doing to explore the future.

FEMALE_1: When did the talks of this begin, Euwyn?

FEMALE_1: [NOISE]

MALE_1: So, can't come out- comment on that directly but,

MALE_1: I mean, it's only 20 months old.

MALE_1: We've launched in, uh,

MALE_1: we first launched in March,

MALE_1: so, it was sometime after we launched in Francisco.

MALE_1: So, everything is happening at work speed here in

MALE_1: this industry and this is no different.

FEMALE_1: Yeah, work speed indeed.

FEMALE_1: Ford had amazingly great things

FEMALE_1: to say about you guys, uh,

FEMALE_1: specifically wanting to work with you,

FEMALE_1: uh, because of what you told me back in June,

FEMALE_1: which is that you have a different approach to

FEMALE_1: getting into those cities where you have a city

FEMALE_1: first approach working with them

FEMALE_1: and then being able to go in after.

FEMALE_1: What does Ford bring to SPIN?

MALE_1: I think they- they bring- they-

MALE_1: they certainly bring a trusted brand,

MALE_1: one that has worked with cities.

MALE_1: They have supplied cities with a lot of

MALE_1: transportation options in the past and that

MALE_1: is going to facilitate our conversation to make us the

MALE_1: leading choice when it comes to partner with cities.

MALE_1: We're not a company that is driven to scale

MALE_1: and- and blitz as fast as possible though

MALE_1: we have very ambitious growth plans.

MALE_1: Um, but we- we can- cities

MALE_1: and schools can- can work with us

MALE_1: knowing that we'll be around for,

MALE_1: you know, at least, you know- you know,

MALE_1: a few more decades in terms

MALE_1: of the- the support that we have behind our backs.

MALE_1: So, that's- that's the-

MALE_1: the rule that we see them

MALE_1: playing and obviously there are other,

MALE_1: um, as this whole opportunity evolves.

MALE_1: We're just at the forefront of

MALE_1: smart mobility with scooters and I

MALE_1: think that there are really interesting things

MALE_1: that will happen down the line.

MALE_2: All right. Euwyn Poon,

MALE_2: co-founder and president of Spin.

MALE_2: Thanks so much for joining us back here again on Cheddar.