Cityscoot backs up to weather the storm

Posted on September 20, 2022, 7:01 pmUpdated September 20, 2022 at 7:10 pm

After two tumultuous years, Cityscoot is looking for new impetus. The shared electric scooter start-up announces the departure of its boss and founder, Bertrand Fleurose, who retains a seat on the company’s board and shares.

He is replaced by Bertrand Altmayer (former co-founder of VTC Marcel), who was General Manager of Cityscoot. The latter should help the company, which had started an international expansion plan before the pandemic (Italy, Spain), weather the storm in this economic period full of uncertainties.

“Times have changed. We are now on a much more frugal development project with a desire to reach profitability before the end of 2022,” he explains. “The idea is to consolidate our achievements before, perhaps, setting out again to attack other cities. European. »

Falling rating

To give itself some air, the company carried out a capital increase for an undisclosed amount. RATP Capital Innovation and Banque des Territoires are now, among themselves, the majority in the capital, specifies the start-up. His assessment is “lower” than the old one, acknowledges his boss, without specifying the value. According to a source, the company has also resorted to a conciliation process with its creditors in recent months.

“We placed ourselves for a certain period under commercial justice protection, which allowed us to restructure our debt. Our financial structure is much more balanced today than before”, reacts Bertrand Altmayer.

The shock of Covid-19

Like many mobility startups, Cityscoot was hit by the health crisis in March 2020, which caused a spectacular drop in travel and income. “In the most difficult moments, we had 5% of our revenue compared to previous years”, says Bertrand Altmayer.

After the lack of definition, the company was also a victim of the arrivals in Paris of Lime (now deceased), Yego and E-Cooltra, which ended its monopoly position in the world of shared scooters, and the development of new players in the subscription scooter market. (Dance, Zeway, Jett).

If Cityscoot loses the Paris City Council bid, the company closes shop.

Bertrand Altmayer General Manager of Cityscoot

“We have lost market share since the arrival of our competitors”, acknowledges Bertrand Altmayer. However, Cityscoot remains the undisputed leader in the capital. More generally, the old Next 40 nugget is slowed by new travel habits. Managers telework more and don’t hesitate to juggle different services (scooter, bike, car-sharing, etc.).

Cityscoot adapted to this new situation by reducing the size of its fleet in Paris and the suburbs. “The new strategy is: the right scooter in the right place”, summarizes the new manager. This choice resulted in an increase in the daily use of their vehicles and in a reduction in operating costs, says Bertrand Altmayer. The start-up also left Barcelona and did not replace the positions of people who left the company since the beginning of the year.

The public tender in Paris in sight

In the short term, Cityscoot has a big deadline with the tender launched by the city of Paris, which must select three operators. The result is scheduled for the beginning of 2023. “If the company loses the bid, it closes the store, comments Bertrand Altmayer bluntly. This city represents 80% of our turnover and is our showcase”.

“We reinvested in Cityscoot because we are hyper-confident in winning this competition in Paris”, slips Stéphanie Bourgeais, president of RATP Capital Innovation, remembering that the start-up offers an “important and complementary service to common transport”. It remains now to convince the services of the City Council.

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