An e-bike and scooter sharing startup co-founded by Olympian Usain Bolt looks to have shut down business, underscoring current issues in the micromobility industry.
Bolt Mobility was present in about five cities, including Portland, Burlington, Vermont, and Richmond. Many locations are experiencing equipment call abandonment.
A transportation planner in Chittenden County, Vermont, told TechCrunch, "We learnt (from them) a couple of weeks ago that Bolt is discontinuing operations."
"They have disappeared, leaving behind equipment and unanswered emails and phone calls. We can't get in touch with anyone, but it appears they've shut down their business in other markets as well."
In fact, Bolt Mobility grew more than 18 months ago when it acquired the assets of Last Mile Holdings, the company that ran Gotcha and OjO Electric.
The corporation now has access to 48 additional markets, most of which are smaller cities like Raleigh, North Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama.
However, due to problems with insurance and unpaid payments, Bolt Mobility lost its authorization to conduct business in Portland in July.
100 bikes were abandoned with dead batteries and malfunctioning motors after the city instructed the company to claim them before the government took possession.
A spokeswoman for Burlington claimed that "all of our contacts at Bolt, including its CEO, have gone radio silent and have not replied to our emails."
As CrunchBase previously documented, after beginning as billion-dollar "unicorns," scooter startups like Bird have hit the skids. The main issue with
Bird is that it charges a large amount of money—roughly $6 for a 20-minute rental—which is significantly more than a bus or metro fare.