Wed, Oct 30, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Wemo expecting to post a profit: CEO

ZOOMING AHEAD:Wemo plans to offer a NT$99 monthly contract for 125 minutes of scooter use as the firm battles growing competition from Gogoro Inc’s GoShare

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Wemo Corp cofounder and chief executive officer Jeffrey Wu, left, and chief technology officer Jay Cheng attend a news conference in Taipei yesterday to promote the company’s electric scooters.

Photo: Chen Ping-hung, Taipei Times

Electric scooter-sharing service provider Wemo Corp (威摩科技) yesterday said that it expects to turn a profit next year as growing demand has prompted the company to double the size of its fleet and expand its business overseas.

“We hope to start making a profit in cities like Taipei next year, although some might remain unprofitable,” Wemo cofounder and chief executive officer Jeffrey Wu (吳昕霈) told a media briefing in Taipei.

The cofounder is a member of the Wu family that owns Shin Kong Group (新光集團), which operates businesses in the insurance, banking, synthetic fibers, retail and healthcare sectors.

His optimism is built on a booming gig economy that includes vehicle-sharing and food-delivery services, not only in Taiwan, but around the globe.

Wemo has received numerous proposals to utilize its know-how to provide services or create joint ventures in Japan and Southeastern Asian nations, Wu said.

The firms include real-estate developers and vehicle leasing firms that want to tap the vehicle-sharing market, he said.

“We believe there is a good chance that [overseas expansion] will happen next year,” Wu said.

Wemo has 300,000 registered riders and that number is expected to double to about 600,000 by next year, he said.

Wemo plans to deploy between 10,000 and 15,000 electric scooters next year, up from 5,000 vehicles this year, to grab a larger share of the growing market, he added.

Wemo, which operates in Taipei, New Taipei City and Kaohsiung, also plans to expand its services to the nation’s other major cities, Wu said.

The company is in talks with private parking-lot operators to provide spaces for its scooters, which is in addition to 20 parking lots and street-side parking spaces run by the Taipei and New Taipei City governments, he said.

Wemo expects to add an additional 1,000 parking spaces in the first half of next year, which would bring the number of parking spaces to 2,000, he added.

Wemo plans to offer a new NT$99 monthly contract for 125 minutes of scooter use as it battles growing competition from Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), which is expanding its scooter-sharing service GoShare.

That is NT$0.8 per minute, a 30 percent discount compared with its current charge of NT$2.5 per minute, the company said.

The company is planning an initial public offering within the next five to seven years, it added.

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