Chinmay Malaviya and Charlie Depman discovered themselves on the middle of the shared micromobility trade simply because it took off, working for firms like Fowl, Lime and Scoot. They skilled a rollercoaster experience of enterprise funding and skyrocketing demand, product pitfalls and regulatory hurdles. It was within the midst of this exercise that the pair famous a shift within the trade and a chance.
“From our vantage level there was a large shift taking place in mobility and transportation, by way of private possession,” Malaviya informed TechCrunch in an interview final month. “Folks had been on the lookout for their very own electrical scooter, electrical bike and electrical moped.”
Malaviya and Depman, who met on LinkedIn, decided there wasn’t an acceptable technique to analysis, vet and purchase e-bikes, e-mopeds or e-scooters past Google and Amazon searches. And Ridepanda, a web-based market for gentle electrical autos, was born.
It’s protected to name the pair “gentle electrical car” evangelists. They see Ridepanda, which raised an undisclosed quantity of seed funding from Basic Catalyst and Will Smith’s Dreamers Fund, as one of the simplest ways to ship on the mission of getting extra electrical bikes, scooters and mopeds within the public’s fingers.
“We’re all for cities that may be happier and environment friendly, in the event that they run on these autos which might be small, quiet eco-friendly and in addition much more enjoyable,” mentioned Malaviya, who added that gentle electrical autos are notably well-suited for almost all of journeys individuals take, which information exhibits is up 5 miles.
The startup, which the pair launched in early 2020 and lately got here out of stealth, goals to be one-stop “e-ride” store the place prospects can discover a curated set of expert-vetted e-rides and a customization function that helps consumers house in on the appropriate product. Ridepanda launched in late September, a brand new website with an improved person interface, a “ridefinder quiz” that helps individuals discover the appropriate product in addition to different assist providers. These assist providers, that are bundled and branded “pandacare,” connects customers with info on insurance coverage, house meeting, restore and upkeep plans in addition to assist discovering the appropriate helmet.
Guests to Ridepanda will spot the “ridefinder quiz,” which lets customers choose the electrical bike, moped or scooter icon, their top and weight, high makes use of and at last, preferences like foldable or cargo and finances. The person is then given just a few outcomes that finest match their alternatives. Customers can skip this course of and simply conduct searches based mostly on the three product varieties or use instances comparable to “commute,” “journey,” “supply,” or “accessibility.”
Not simply any electrical bike, scooter or moped qualifies for Ridepanda’s website, mentioned Depman, who’s the corporate’s CTO.
“We’ve seen like a Cambrian explosion of various car varieties; there are actually a whole lot of choices on the market,” mentioned Depman. “In the event you go on Amazon web site, you’re going to see 150-plus in every class, and it’s actually arduous to sift by them. So what we’ve been constructing on the again finish is a vetting system.”
For a product to be included on the platform, it should meet sure standards and score. The corporate charges autos throughout efficiency, security, sustainability, sturdiness and repairability, Depman mentioned. That score is achieved by evaluating all of the completely different parts of the car, together with the battery, motor and brakes.
Ridepanda is concentrated on the U.S. marketplace for now, notably cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. The corporate affords prospects financing and it’s even trying right into a subscription service, though it’s unclear when or if that may roll out.
“Principally I believe we’re combating the noise and the choice fatigue,” Malaviya mentioned.