Unagi Expands E-Scooter Subscription in Los Angeles

Unagi Expands E-Scooter Subscription in Los Angeles

Unagi, the trendy Oakland e-scooter startup that has drawn fawning comparisons to Apple and Tesla, is expanding its subscription service to a broader swath of Los Angeles and New York, along with six other cities.

Up until last year, the sleek scooters were only available to those who shelled out $990 to purchase one, but COVID accelerated the company's plans to launch a subscription service, which it started testing in parts of L.A. and New York last summer.

The flat $49 monthly fee – or $39.99 if you commit to a year – includes maintenance and insurance for theft or damage and FedEx delivery within three days of ordering.

The company hopes the subscription will appeal to commuters who are still worried about taking public transit and those who rent shared scooters from companies like Bird and Lime that can cost $5 to $10 per ride.

Subscription services — whether for streaming, food delivery or furniture — are also very much in vogue.

"Millennials prefer access over ownership," Unagi co-founder and CEO David Hyman told dot.LA. in August. "This model helps us bring it to a larger audience."

Unagi All-Access, as it is called, will now be available on the Westside, Southeast L.A, the San Fernando Valley and in Orange County. And for the first time, riders can subscribe in Austin, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle.

Unagi also announced a $10.5 million Series A funding round to fund the expansion, led by The Ecosystem Integrity Fund with participation from Menlo Ventures, Broadway Angels and Gaingels.

Bird offers monthly rentals too, but only in San Francisco, Miami, Washington, D.C. and on certain college campuses.

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Ben Bergman

Ben Bergman is the newsroom's senior finance reporter. Previously he was a senior business reporter and host at KPCC, a senior producer at Gimlet Media, a producer at NPR's Morning Edition, and produced two investigative documentaries for KCET. He has been a frequent on-air contributor to business coverage on NPR and Marketplace and has written for The New York Times and Columbia Journalism Review. Ben was a 2017-2018 Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economic and Business Journalism at Columbia Business School. In his free time, he enjoys skiing, playing poker, and cheering on The Seattle Seahawks.

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