Wunder Mobility’s new lending activity helps micromobility startups fund fleets – TechCrunch

Wunder Mobility has built its business selling software for shared scooter, e-bike, and even short-term car rental startups. Now he’s banking on a new – and once-secret – lending division to generate more income, which will give micromobility operators another option to access capital without having to launch venture capitalists and other investors. .

The company announced the official launch of Wunder Capital, a subsidiary that offers fleet financing solutions to micromobility operators. Wunder Capital, which was operating in stealth mode for two years, has already provided financing to more than 25 companies, according to the company.

As shared micromobility becomes the norm, there is an opportunity for the industry to grow dramatically, said Gunnar Froh, founder and CEO of Wunder Mobility, in a recent interview. He believes that traditional venture capital-backed financing rounds are too slow to keep up with the level of growth required to meet growing demand.

“Now you can basically launch in a matter of weeks on our software platform and also get vehicles through us that are optimized for the share case and then pay for them entirely through revenue sharing,” Froh told TechCrunch.

Wunder Capital aims to become a one-stop-shop for shared operators looking for operational software, high-quality vehicles, and the money to purchase them. Froh estimates that such a package would cost an operator around 40% of their monthly income.

The founder first saw the potential to diversify Wunder’s portfolio when he noticed the influence of his sales team on operators’ vehicle purchasing decisions. Once his team set up new operators with an app and software, operators would inevitably ask for the automaker’s recommendations.

Wunder Mobility said on Tuesday it was also in partnership with Yadea, a dominant manufacturer of light electric vehicles in China, to co-develop an electric moped that has been refitted for shared use. The company also intends to co-develop and fund e-bikes and scooters this year, but has not specified which manufacturers it will work with.

“We had dealer deals in place, so we would always recommend this Yadea moped and then get a margin on it,” Froh said. “Then we would talk to Yadea and make changes to them so that the mopeds were ready to be shared, and then we would have the opportunity to talk with the operators about how they are going to finance this purchase, what limitations you face, etc. “

Wunder Capital recently added German electric moped sharing company Emmy as a financing client. Wunder Capital will finance 1,500 refitted Yadea G5L electric mopeds for emmy sites in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin. Unlike Yadea’s mainstream models, these mopeds will have a more robust base, more intuitive controls, doubled range and improved battery management systems.

“Some companies go through venture capital, but it’s very costly in terms of the performance expectations and control they want to have, and it keeps people from expanding their fleets,” Froh said. “We refinance through banks that typically wouldn’t go to a single operator and feel comfortable reselling these vehicles. We combine multiple operators into one portfolio and then have access to a liquid secondary market. “

To determine risk and inform lending decisions, Wunder Capital uses APIs to collect anonymized travel data from operators who compare operational efficiency between companies. This data collection also allows the division to report if an operator is not doing well and is at risk of missing payments, in which case Wunder Capital can proactively step in to restructure loans.

“In the event of a fault, we can take vehicles from one operator and send them to another elsewhere in the world,” Froh said. “So with this model, we can refinance at a relatively low price. “

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