Zoov, the Paris-based bike share service created by Withings cofounder Eric Carreel, has raised $6.8 million in venture capital for a system that it hopes will be more appealing to cities.
The funding round includes money from Daphni, C4 Ventures, Road Ventures, BNP Paribas Développement, and the Banque des Territoires.
“We really believe that to offer a sustainable quality service, we need to be able to enhance it by making use of data,” Carreel said in a statement. “And to gather reliable data in real time about the status of the bikes and the environment in which they are evolving, it is vital that we are fully in control of our product.”
While the ebike sharing field is getting crowded, many of the services result in bikes being left in random spots, where they become eyesores.
The company was founded in 2017 by Carreel, Arnaud Le Rodallec, and Amira Haberah, and its goal is to address the bike-sharing mess with a funky, lightweight bike design and compact bike stations that reduce urban impact.
Zoov’s bike station can hold 20 bikes within an area the size of a typical car parking space. Its stations work like shopping carts in supermarkets. The first bike is attached to the second, and so on, with the final bike available to use — like pulling out the last shopping cart.
The company installs the stations for free. Users unlock a bike using the Zoov app and their Bluetooth connection.
The fundraising comes after a five-month trial in the Saclay region, where Zoov made 200 electric bikes available for locals to try. The company says the money will allow it to expand into new regions over the course of this year.