Transportation VCs suggest frayed US-China ties will impact mobility markets

Original article was published by Connie Loizos on Automotive – TechCrunch

On Tuesday, during TechCrunch’s annual Mobility event, we had the opportunity to interview three investors who spend much of their time focused narrowly on shifts in the transportation industry and we talked with the three — Amy Gu of Hemi Ventures, Reilly Brennan of Trucks VC, and Olaf Sakkers of Maniv Mobility — about a wide range of related issues to get their take. You can check out that interview below; in the meantime, we’re pulling out parts of the conversation that we found particularly interesting:

How the pandemic is affecting fundraising and the trends they’re watching

Olaf Sakkers: In dense cities, no one is taking transit, so you’re seeing a big shift toward micromobility, but in other cities, there’s been a big uptake in car use and secondhand and new-car demand despite of economic impacts. [You’re seeing this] trade-off between us getting out, and more goods and services that are coming to us than before, [including] food and other things. We’re also seeing a lot of geographic and culture variances, but those are things we’re seeing immediately.

Amy Gu: One thing that COVID has changed a lot is healthcare, which has become more important (during the pandemic) but also raised questions about how we make it more mobile. We’ve been looking at telemedicine companies and remote health care.

Is COVID-19 driving people to buy bikes, scooters and used cars instead of renting?

Reilly Brennan: People fell off micromobility platforms not because they didn’t like them, but they liked them so much, they wanted to buy [the scooters and bikes]. The ways a typical dealership makes money with financing, maintenance and service will come to micromobility. There isn’t much of a used market right now for e-bikes and e-scooters because there aren’t many of them, but that ecosystem will become stronger … [you can imagine] buying outright, leasing, subscriptions, wrapping in theft control … all the tricks you’ve seen carmakers bring to car financing, [meaning] not owning or renting but something in-between.