Okai News - January 2022
News from Okai
- Also, thank you to our friends and fans for stopping by our CES booth to say hello. Check out the latest CES reports on YouTube from Out of Spec Scootz and Electric Revolution
- New ES500 units (German ABE certification) have arrived and are ready to order
- Our new flagship, the Okai NEON, is about to arrive in Europe and can be ordered starting in the beginning of February (Check out the latest review of the NEON on Electric Scooter Guide.)
- We currently have several open positions in our Berlin office (Sales, Marketing, Support, Operations). If you are interested, please get in touch here or check out our careers page
- Berliners are trying to create a car-free zone larger than the area of Manhattan.
- A pair of major funding deals were recently announced for two European transportation startups: Stockholm-based scooter provider Voi banked $115M in Series D funds as it prepares to file for an IPO, while European super app Bolt raised $355M in a Series E round, achieving decacorn status.
- Ford-owned micromobility startup Spin is exiting open-permit markets, blaming lack of regulations for creating an "uncertain operating environment."
- Milan officially approved a new $226M cycling plan that will connect 80% of the city via bike lanes.
- More than four years after the first shared scooters came out, private ownership is starting to take off. McKinsey examines consumer preferences and finds people would rather own an electric scooter than share one by a landslide margin (64% to 6%).
- Meanwhile, electric bikes continue to outsell electric cars in the United States, the land where the automobile is supposedly king.
- The top DoorDash orders of 2021 included bedsheets, french fries, Cabernet Sauvignon, ice cream, and live crickets. Very different kinds of products, requiring very different modes of delivery.
- City building startup Culdesac raised a $30M Series A round to develop car-free communities from scratch.
What We're Reading
As shopping increasingly moves online, The Real Deal reports that major retailers like Walmart are looking for ways to downsize the parking lots at their brick-and-mortar locations. That’s good news for anyone who thinks our society allocates too much space for cars. The problem is that many cities, especially in the United States, demand stores maintain a minimum number of parking spots for shoppers, creating tension between retailers and lawmakers: “Most municipalities now demand more parking spaces per square foot of store space than the retailers want, according to the report, with big chains like Walmart seeking zoning variances so they can decrease the number of spaces the government demands, saving money on the cost of land.”
🪂 It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane...
Meituan’s drone delivery ambitions are getting seriously advanced, TechCrunch reports: “Over the past two years, Meituan, one of China’s largest internet companies, has flown 19,000 meals to 8,000 customers across Shenzhen, a city with close to 20 million people. The pilot program is available to just seven neighborhoods, each with a three-kilometer stretch, and only from a select number of merchants. The drones deliver to designated streetside kiosks rather than hover outside people’s windows as envisioned by sci-fi writers.”
Words of the Month
Literally meaning: three cheese high. Most good meals meet this requirement, but this expression is only somewhat related to food. A Dreikäsehoch is what you call a small child who is only as tall as three wheels of cheese stacked on top of each other. All in all, we think using stacks of cheese as a form of measurement should come back in style.
Chinese: SHĚNMĚI PÍLÁO 审美疲劳
All spoken languages are living languages, and words and phrases are constantly circulating through the vernacular. 审美疲劳 is a recent addition to Mandarin. (However, note that it is still structured like a chengyu: “to know”; “good; pretty”; “weary”; “toil.” ) As 审美疲劳 applies to romantic relationships, we might say that “the honeymoon is over.”