Helbiz Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Wheels
Helbiz, Inc. (Nasdaq: HLBZ), a leader in micro-mobility and the first in its industry to be publicly listed on Nasdaq, today announced that they signed a letter of intent to acquire Wheels, a leading last-mile, shared electric mobility platform using proprietary vehicles with integrated helmet technology. The acquisition is subject to standard closing conditions and is expected to close by year-end.
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"The shared vision and purpose of Helbiz and Wheels makes this combination a perfect match," said Helbiz CEO and Founder Salvatore Palella. "Both companies began with the goal of changing how people move through their communities while lessening their dependence on climate-harming transportation options. We're excited to join forces with the talented team at Wheels and introduce our respective riders to a further range of transportation options." (Photo: Business Wire)
"The shared vision and purpose of Helbiz and Wheels makes this combination a perfect match," said Helbiz CEO and Founder Salvatore Palella. "Both companies began with the goal of changing how people move through their communities while lessening their dependence on climate-harming transportation options. We're excited to join forces with the talented team at Wheels and introduce our respective riders to a further range of transportation options.
"From a strategic perspective, this acquisition is expected to double revenue, expand the cities served, enhance margins, and reduce costs," he said. "Our focus is to adapt and grow with profitability at the core of every decision. This acquisition makes us even more confident in our ability to achieve that goal in the next 18 months. Our customers are utilizing cutting edge technology to make their lives easier and they are educating their communities through adoption. In the same vein, our goal is to demonstrate to the capital markets that the micro-mobility model is sustainable through data driven, highly focused, and tightly controlled expenditures."
Helbiz currently has 50 licenses to offer micro-mobility vehicles across the United States and Italy, utilizing a diverse fleet of e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-mopeds available for rent via the Helbiz app.
The Wheels model, from its vehicle type to the business model, presents a new way of thinking about micro-mobility. Wheels has eight thousand vehicles deployed across major U.S. markets, including New York City, Honolulu, and Austin. Wheels is the only operator across the four permitted markets of metropolitan Los Angeles (L.A., Santa Monica, West Hollywood, and Culver City). n total, Wheels operates in twelve cities and four universities across the United States. The company's mix of business includes shared mobility, a subscription business, and a B2B operation - partnering with businesses to provide their employees and patrons with a vehicle as a benefit.
"Our businesses are complementary in really powerful ways," said Marco McCottry, CEO of Wheels. "There is minimal overlap of city permits, and we believe the combination of our businesses can create a uniquely diversified mobility offering that generates compelling synergies across a large footprint. Helbiz's shared vision of safety and accessibility matches ours and will be a significant element of the foundation of this venture into the future."
The Wheels vehicle is unique in the industry as a sit down, two-wheeled device with patented technology for its integrated helmet. It pioneered swappable battery technology which keeps vehicles on the streets longer and can drive strong margins. This form factor is more accessible to those who may not prefer or cannot ride stand up scooters, which expands the market for micro-mobility transportation. Wheels vehicles have been well-received by municipalities, universities, and enterprise partners looking for alternatives to the traditional micro-mobility offerings of scooters or bikes.
Wheels was founded in 2018 and is led by veterans of the micro-mobility and shared transportation industries including Zipcar, Bird and Uber.
"The next phase of the micro-mobility industry will be about the right teams, products and partner ecosystems all coming together coupled with tight operational excellence to enable profitable growth," said Wheels board chair and Chief Commercial Officer of Nutanix, Tarkan Maner. "This combination of a uniquely differentiated vehicle platform, cloud-based software, and talent positions us for market leadership in the short and long term around additional and larger geographic and vertical markets via focused innovation and operational efficiencies."
"Wheels joining the Helbiz team is an ideal pairing," said Wheels board member and General Partner of Tenaya Capital, Ben Boyer. "The combined business should have a clear path to profitability and help define the future of micro-mobility."