Luup, a Japanese shared micro-mobility firm, raised $30 million (4.5 billion yen) in a Series D fundraising round. In addition, Luup has raised $68 million in stock, debt, and asset financing, valued at over $100 million, according to sources. The corporation declined to comment on value.
To boost micro-mobility, the Japanese government has relaxed e-scooter laws. E-scooter riders without driving licenses or helmets can ride at 20 km/h starting July 1 under new Road Traffic Act modifications.
Luup CEO Daiki Okai told TechCrunch that the firm wants to extend its e-scooter and e-bike operations to Japanese towns and tourist attractions. It aspires to serve hundreds of thousands of commuters like trains. Luup plans to turn office buildings, condominiums, stores, and other urban places into “ports” for its e-scooters and e-bikes.
Japanese cities were built around big railroad stations, making transit hard for individuals living distant from them. Luup said he wants to build the city “a station front” with a high-density network to help people living away from railway stations.
In 2021, Luup launched its shared e-scooters and e-bikes. The firm has over 1 million app downloads in Japan and 3,000 ports in six locations this year. Luup wants 10,000 parking stations by 2025.
Luup has more ports and e-scooters than Docomo Bike Share and Open Streets. The Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto startup has the most ports. U.S.-based Bird and South Korean-based Swing have joined the Tokyo market, although they have had limited success.
Since e-scooters won’t require a Japanese driver’s license starting in July, Okai expects a rise in commuters, including international tourists. He also thinks Luup’s high-density station network might help expand into drone and delivery robot hubs.