Spin, a Ford-owned e-scooter startup, announced a massive restructure on Friday, stating that it will withdraw from « almost all open permit markets. » Spin is particularly exiting « a few » US markets, Germany, and Portugal, and it is « projecting » to close in Spain as soon as February.
Spin claims it would focus on « restricted vendor markets » in the US, Canada, and the UK, where only a certain number of scooter businesses are permitted to compete. According to Ben Bear, Spin’s CEO, Spin expects « twice the revenue per vehicle » in limited vendor areas.
« This restructure decision affects nearly a quarter of our personnel, » Bear added, implying that they will be laid off. Spin will provide severance compensation to « affected employees, » as well as « an additional stipend that may be provided for outplacement assistance, » according to Bear. He also stated that employees who have been given business laptops will be permitted to keep them.
Bear expressed dissatisfaction with « open permit markets, » which allow many scooter businesses to operate in the same market. They appeared to be stiff competitors for Spin. The market characteristics, according to Bear, « make it impossible to establish a clear path to profitability. »
Ford purchased Spin in 2018. In 2019, the company launched an aggressive expansion plan, with plans to extend to Europe in 2020. Following Friday’s news, however, it appears that the company’s focus is shifting for the time being.