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Ford gets into the e-scooter craze with Spin

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Ford is entering the electric scooter business.

The American carmaker announced Wednesday it has acquired the popular San Francisco-based scooter-share company Spin.

The scooter startup secured $8 million in funding last year, and it was one of the first scooter companies to bring the electric vehicles to San Francisco this year along with Bird and Lime. 

Pitchbook reported in May that Spin was valued at $43.2 million and fending off several multi-million dollar offers. There’s no official word on how much Ford offered Spin in the acquisition, but Axios reports it was close to $100 million.

In a blog post, Ford X VP Sunny Madra — Ford X is the “new” transportation division of the company — said that the Spin acquisition fits into Ford’s goals to develop hybrids, electric cars, and self-driving cars by 2021. 

The scooters will be added to Ford’s “mobility portfolio.”  Ford acquired shared van service Chariot in 2016 and brought it into its X incubator as well. 

Spin adds another commuting option for Ford “as we try to help our customers get places more easily, more quickly and less expensively,” Madra wrote.

Ford helped with e-scooter research at Purdue University with Jelly scooters, so this foray into the vehicles isn’t completely out of the blue.

Spin started as a stationless bike-share service and then added scooters to its line-up. It now focuses only on the e-scooters with a presence in 13 cities and college campuses (and now 14 with the Detroit launch). Ford already has docked bikes in the San Francisco Bay Area with Motivate’s Ford GoBikes shared service. A spokesperson said Ford doesn’t plan to connect that program with Spin.

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