Secure Parking for the "Micromobility" Movement
Oonee is a transportation company targeting the growing “micromobility” market.
This venture-backed startup has created “smart,” modular parking pods, designed to enable riders in urban areas to safely store their bikes and scooters.
Oonee has made significant early progress:
• Its investors include Urban Us, a venture capital firm investing in environmentally-conscious startups, and Ryan Rzepecki, Founder of JUMP Bikes (acquired by Uber in 2018 for $200 million).
• The company has partnerships with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (its initial target market) and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
• And it’s been featured in The New York Times, Bloomberg, and Time Magazine.
To understand the potential impact Oonee can have, consider the rise of the market it’s targeting.
Micromobility is a term for using smaller, lightweight vehicles — such as bikes and scooters — for transportation. This type of transportation is popular in urban areas, where space and parking are often scarce.
By 2030, the global micromobility market is projected to reach $195 billion. And a large part of that figure is due to this market’s acceleration in the U.S., particularly in big cities like New York.
In New York, the use of bicycles has more than doubled since 2009. The city recently designated sixty-eight miles of streets to be car-free “Open Street” and committed to 250 additional miles of protected bike lanes in the next five years.
In July 2021, a survey from prominent consulting firm McKinsey & Company asked people if they would ride a bike or scooter to work if they were able. Nearly seventy percent of respondents said they would.
The bottom line: micromobility isn’t merely a trend. It’s a fast-growing industry that is changing the way people get around.
The problem this industry faces is that many cities lack secure, convenient parking options for bikes and scooters. In New York City, for example, there are only a handful of parking spaces for the 1.6 million bike riders. And without parking, riders are more likely to experience theft, vandalism, and weather damage (in New York, one in four households have experienced at least one bike theft).
Additionally, bike and scooter riders lack access to the proper service ecosystem, a place where they can do things like rent vehicles, purchase insurance, or repair the vehicles they own.
As Oonee’s team says, bikes and scooters will never be a truly viable transportation option until it’s reliable, convenient, and affordable.
That’s why this company decided to create its parking pods. Here’s how they work:
The primary product is called the Oonee Pod. This is a modular, customizable kiosk that combines parking and charging ports on the interior, with public space amenities and room for advertising on the exterior. Each pod can accommodate between twenty to sixty bikes.
The second product is called the Oonee Mini. This is a solution for micromobility storage on smaller city streets. Each pod holds between six and ten bikes and fits in the space of a traditional parking spot.
The third product is called the Oonee Hub. This is a premium high-capacity pod, designed to fit more than 100 bikes. These pods also offer service amenities such as vehicle rentals and repairs.
Users can access any of these pods with a smart device 24/7 (soon they’ll also be able to see availability in real-time). They can also use the Oonee Marketplace app to access goods and services offered by small business partners.
The storage pods are free to use for riders. Oonee makes money by selling advertising space on the exterior of the pods, as well as sponsorship opportunities. It also generates revenue through services such as repairs and rentals.
Said Pivot Media Ventures, a marketing and advertising company already working with Oonee, “We’ve been extremely impressed with the Oonee advertising format. Our clients love the high impact experience, and we’re looking forward to the future expansion.”
Oonee has opened its first two Oonee Hubs in Brooklyn, and has plans to erect sixty-five stations across major metro areas by the end of this year. In 2023, the company projected to bring in $1.2 million in revenue, more than five times what it generated in 2022. The company aims to reach three million dollars in annual revenue by Q2 2024.
Prior to starting Oonee, Shabazz was Deputy Director of Operations with the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. This non-profit organization seeks to develop Brooklyn, New York with businesses and residences.
Before that, he spent time as a project manager with the NYC Department of Education, focusing on recruitment and planning. Earlier in his career, he was an assistant with NYC & Company, a travel and tourism company.
Shabazz earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Tufts University.
Manuel is the visionary behind Oonee’s modular storage pods.
In addition to his role with the company, he is Principal with TOTEM, a Brooklyn-based company focused on real estate development and design. He’s also Founder of FANTASTICA, a company specializing in designing public spaces in local communities.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Universidad Francisco Marroquin and a degree in Urban Design from Columbia University.
A VC firm investing in startups addressing issues in big cities
A VC firm investing in early-stage startups.