When we announced Toyota AI Ventures Fund II in May, I spent some time describing the fragmenting landscape of the mobility industry. Transportation methods have evolved little over the last century, with the last several years experiencing a Cambrian explosion of new mobility options. Since 2010, the mobility market saw over $220B in investment, with demand for micromobility growing especially quickly in large urban areas. I’m excited to announce that Toyota AI Ventures is also entering the micromobility market with our investment in Skip.
Why Skip? While there are many companies vying for a share of the urban mobility market, we found San Francisco-based Skip to be one of the more thoughtful players — a trait that we believe is critical for long-term success. Skip’s co-founders, Sanjay Dastoor, Matt Tran, and Mike Wadhera, have focused on durability and safety, designing their products and fleet operations to offer riders a fun, easy way of commuting in urban areas. From tightly integrating the hardware, software, and sensors on their electric vehicle (EV) platform, to relentlessly improving operational efficiency, and developing close relationships with municipal governments, Skip has taken care to build a sustainable, scalable business.
Skip currently offers on-demand scooter services in two major U.S. cities: San Francisco, CA, and Washington, D.C. With ongoing fleet testing in San Diego, CA, and Austin, TX, their team has plans to expand to additional cities across the United States. Skip collaborates with city officials, community groups, and individual riders to foster valuable, long-term partnerships in the communities they serve. As a result, the company consistently achieves the highest permit win-rate in the cities where they operate, creating a culture of customer loyalty in key urban markets.
More than 50 percent of the global population now lives in urban areas, with expected growth to 75 percent by 2050. With public transportation options already strained in many places, new mobility solutions can help provide convenient, affordable options for commuters. Skip wants to provide more efficient mobility options and improve the quality of life for urban dwellers — a mission we can wholeheartedly support.
The company’s recently-launched custom Skip S3 scooter is a great example of the team’s careful approach to product design and safety. Built entirely in-house, this sturdy, modular scooter prioritizes stability and reliability to enhance rider safety on busy city streets. Innovative products like the S3 are why I’m excited to announce that we’ve joined investors from Accel Ventures, Maven Ventures, Menlo Ventures, Trucks Venture Capital, and Y-Combinator as part of Skip’s extended Series A funding round.
We’re looking forward to riding along with the Skip team on their journey to bring micromobility into the mainstream and make last-mile transportation safer and more accessible. If you’re interested in joining the Skip team, they are hiring for a variety of roles in California, Texas, and Washington DC.