The process has involved different forms of financing as well as different sources, from private investors to CDP Venture Capital, Invitalia and Intesa Sanpaolo Bank.

 

Rome, November 30th 2021 — SCUTER, an Italian startup launching its mobility-as-a-service offer based on a self-developed innovative vehicle, successfully closed a seed-stage investment round summing up to over 3 million EUR, mixing equity, debt and grant, finalized to the commercial launch. This is a record amount for a “hard tech” startup, in the pre-revenue phase, based in Italy. SCUTER was able to do so by getting multiple sources of financing in a single seed round:

 

  • A zero-interest debt financing plus a grant by the government’s agency INVITALIA.
  • A medium-term debt financing bounded to the production of the first fleet of vehicles, from Intesa Sanpaolo Bank, through a manufacturing partner.
  • A convertible investment led by LVenture Group and other Business Angels in co-matching with CDP Venture Capital

 

SCUTER was incorporated in Rome in 2015 by an interdisciplinary team of co-founders with a unique vision: designing the ultimate personal urban mobility sharing service, by creating a data-driven platform around a new concept of the vehicle being efficient, connected, integrated, safe and green. The result needed to integrate the benefits and uniqueness of different transportation methods: easy to ride and long-lasting like a bike, agile and fast like a scooter, safe like a city car.

 

To start the development of its concept, SCUTER raised initially almost EUR 600,000 in a pre-seed financing from friends and family, business angels and through the crowdfunding platform Mamacrowd. SCUTER was also the winner of a grant in the INCENSE contest run by the European Commission with ENEL, as one of the most promising cleantech startups in Europe.

Thanks to these funds, SCUTER was able to validate the initial intuition developing and road-testing four evolutive prototypes, and finally achieve patents and the homologation of the vehicle valid to be license plated throughout Europe. While doing so, SCUTER achieved appreciation of hundreds of users through test-rides in events plus many awards and prizes, such as the Maker of Merit from the European Maker Faire, the Ericsson EGO prize, and was the winner of the Rome’s FIA startup Challenge from Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

 

Urban mobility is seeking a “new way”, having experienced the limits of the different types of sharing operators on the market. SCUTER plans to offer city users a fleet of innovative, safe and clean vehicles, with low maintenance costs, deploying them as an enabling infrastructure that will allow a freemium model to different classes of end-users in B2C as the starting model and targeting as well B2B, C2C and B2B2C. This approach will be increasingly implemented by adding onboard sensors, and while enriching the platform with additional services, to generate new services and revenue streams also through an ecosystem of partners.

 

In order to collect enough seed capital financing to support the launch phase, SCUTER has faced many difficulties to collect the available capital for hard tech startups, in a challenging environment such as the weak Italian early stage venture industry.

 

“Achieving such a goal in the seed stage, meaning in the pre-revenue phase, wasn’t an easy ride” says Gianmarco Carnovale, CEO at SCUTER – “the VCs dedicated to the mobility sector were located in other countries, and even if interested, these international investors were not willing to invest cross-border in such an early stage. However, instead of moving our headquarter abroad, we decided to change our fundraising model, by readdressing our strategy on some Italy-based financial instruments, independent from one to the other, and matching them into a single financial plan. This strategy proved to be working, allowing SCUTER to raise 3 million after the last approval, and we’re now producing the first fleet of our vehicle Mark V. In a few months we will be operational in our lunch city in Italy, which will become our permanent lab, in order to get ready for a Series A in the next year”.

 

SCUTER’s system is composed of a cloud platform, driven by machine learning and AI, a smartphone app, a charging battery cabinet and a patented single-seat electric 3-wheels vehicle, unique in the world. The vehicle is so advanced that it could be compared to a smartphone with wheels and a chair. It protects the user in a protective cabin, it is very light and safe thanks to its aluminum chassis and its limitation to 45 km/h, and it has over 100 km of autonomy.

The user can drive it without wearing a helmet, yet fastening a seat belt, and is required to be at least 14 years old holding any valid driving license. The vehicle is charged by swapping the battery, so there is no need to wait for them to be charged onboard. The whole architecture will be subject to continuous reengineering to improve the efficiency and add features, to improve the user experience as well as to customize the service city by city.

 

SCUTER, after the financing round, has established its headquarters in Rome, precisely in the LVenture Hub, in Termini Station – where the team works on strategic operations, software development, financials and marketing – and it opened a design and mechanical engineering unit in Caserta, next to the manufacturing partners. Part of the electronics design is made in the incubator INNOVA of Tecnopolo Tiburtino (Rome), and other developments are made at CTE-Next, incubator of the TORINO CITY LAB, supported by STMicroelectronics.

 

Scuter has been co-founded by CEO Gianmarco Carnovale, serial tech entrepreneur and startup ecosystem builder in Rome, the CBDO Gabriele Carbucicchio, automotive entrepreneur, the CDO Carmine Di Nuzzo, vehicle designer and the CTO Luca Ruggeri, electronic engineer. The CGO Pierandrea Vacca, senior manager and angel investor, and COO Michele Messina, aerospace engineer, have then joined the C-line.