Ridepanda secures new investment to bring e-bike benefits to enterprise partners and their employees

Ridepanda’s new financing, led by Blackhorn Ventures and Yamaha Motor Ventures, will allow the company to scale new partnerships, and accelerate the adoption of sustainable commute options by employees

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ridepanda, an enterprise micro-mobility-as-a-benefit platform, founded by industry veterans Chinmay Malaviya (Lime) and Charlie Depman (Bird, Scoot), has announced funding of $7.5M in equity and debt to accelerate its mission to transform how people commute in major American cities. Currently operating in Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City (and with plans to launch in more cities over the next 24 months), Ridepanda provides its partner companies and public sector customers with a turnkey platform for employees to lease a broad selection of e-bikes, pedal bikes, and scooters through their benefits package. Current Ridepanda partners, including Amazon, Google, Goodwin Procter Law firm, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the County of San Mateo, benefit through improved employee wellness and retention, a safe and healthy post-Covid return to work commute offering that reduces single occupancy vehicles, and validated and transparent ESG reporting.

The recent seed II round of financing will be leveraged to grow Ridepanda’s team across engineering, sales, and marketing, and help accomplish their mission of having 100,000 employees commuting to and from work, living an active lifestyle, on a Ridepanda vehicle by 2026. The round led by Blackhorn Ventures and Yamaha Motor Ventures, included participation of all existing institutional investors, including Proeza Ventures, Porsche Ventures, Oyster Ventures, Somersault Ventures, General Catalyst, and new investor, Urban Us Capital.

Anish Patel from Yamaha Motor Ventures shared, “The Bicycle commuter Act is back in congress to create $81/month pre-tax commuter benefit for biking. I’m excited for Ridepanda to use their technological and operational expertise to help employees seamlessly connect to these benefits.”

While helping lead the deployment of e-bikes and scooters globally as part of the first wave of micro-mobility innovation, the Ridepanda co-founders recognized that the market was moving towards longer-term ownership vs. shared fleet access. Where unit economics are more challenging and profitability has proved elusive for other industry players, Ridepanda benefits from an asset-light revenue model that is generating significantly more revenue per vehicle over the course of the vehicle's lifetime. While e-bikes and scooters are seeing unprecedented demand (according to Bloomberg NEF, there are nearly 300M electric two- and three-wheelers on the road worldwide, and collectively, they displace about 4x as much oil demand as the entire global fleet of electric cars) companies offering mobility leases and subscriptions struggle with a lack of diversity in vehicle options, supply chain constraints, poor serviceability and a lack of local support. Ridepanda is solving these issues by providing an end-to-end solution featuring a customized employee portal, a variety of e-bike and scooter brand options from leading brands in different size, color, and frame variations and price points, as well as a robust data reporting dashboard.

“Ridepanda is primed to be the largest mobility platform combining employer engagement and ‘return-to-work’ with employees' desire for flexible and sustainable commute options. We’re excited to help the team accelerate the shift to zero-emission vehicles,” stated Phil O’Connor, Managing Partner at Blackhorn Ventures.

In a crowded micro-mobility marketplace plagued by the risk of hazardous batteries, Ridepanda uses best practices and industry standards to vet and curate their vehicle marketplace by partnering with well-established brands and high-quality manufacturers including Specialized, Giant, Diamondback, and Dahon, as well as reputable brands like Segway and Okai. For all their vehicle offerings, the company employs a rigorous series of safety testing and charging management protocols.

Ridepanda operates ‘PandaHubs’ in their three launch cities, offering their customers’ employees the opportunity to take test rides, get safety information and vehicle deep-dives, and access ongoing servicing as needed throughout the duration of their lease. Recent industry bankruptcies illustrate the importance of serviceability for vehicle manufacturers, accessibility of highest quality parts that are not proprietary, and a strong supply chain that ensures easy access to these parts for warranty and repair. Ridepanda’s full-service model allows it to have a closer, longer-term relationship with the employee customer.

A recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the rate of people working from home dropped from almost 18% in 2021 to 15% in 2022. And, commute rates have returned in many areas to 75% or above pre-pandemic levels, which in turn continues the trend of passenger vehicles being the largest single contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Almost 100 million people commute to work in the U.S. on a daily basis. With 60% stating that they would use micro mobility solutions, like Ridepanda, to commute daily, there is a massive opportunity to reverse current trends and change habits toward sustainable mobility options.

Interested employers and public agencies should visit www.ridepanda.com to sign up to demo the platform.

About Ridepanda
Co-founded by Chinmay Malaviya and Charlie Depman in 2020, Ridepanda provides enterprise partner companies with a turnkey platform for employees, offering monthly subscriptions to a broad selection of e-bikes and scooters, subsidized through their benefits package. Ridepanda is on a mission to help public agencies and enterprises improve the physical health and mental wellbeing of people, while creating more efficient cities that run on small, quiet, eco-friendly electric vehicles. Through its Panda Hubs operating in Seattle, San Francisco and New York, Ridepanda offers personalized customer support and vehicle service. Ridepanda partners, like Amazon, Google, Goodwin Law, and the County of San Mateo, benefit through improved employee wellness and retention, a more positive post-Covid return to work and a reduction in drive alone rates, and ESG reporting. The company is backed by investors including Blackhorn Ventures, Yamaha Motor Ventures, Porsche Ventures, Proeza Ventures, General Catalyst, Moving Capital, Alumni Ventures Group, Lorimer Ventures, Oyster Ventures, 0 Ventures, Dreamers VC and Lime’s Co-Founder, Toby Sun. For more information, please visit www.ridepanda.com.

Stephen Rodriguez