Congratulations to our portfolio company, Ninebot, on their IPO on the STAR Board. Ninebot, the global leader in electric last-mile mobility transportation products including self-balancing bikes, scooters, robots, ATV, balance wheels, and karts. Ninebot’s IPO marks a historic milestone, as it’s the first Company to debut on Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style STAR Market with a VIE structure to sell Chinese Depository Receipts (CDRs).
Our Initial Investment:
WestSummit’s relationship with CEO, Luke Gao, dates back to 2008 when he was colleagues with our Partner, Kelly Liu at China Finance Net. Fast forward to 2014 when Luke approached WestSummit, with ambitions to enter the US and European markets. With no presence in the US and little knowledge of the market, he leaned on WestSummit for strategic support and tactical guidance. Through months of strategic planning and pre-investment business development, we ended up leading and investing in Ninebot’s Series A+ round in March 2015. This round was used to provide Ninebot capital to acquire Segway and enter the US market. The acquisition of Segway provided an iconic, well-known brand in North America and over 400 micro mobility, self-balancing patents globally.
Staying Ahead of the Curve through Innovation and Execution:
In the beginning of 2018, Ninebot took the global stage, as it became the go-to-provider to the electric scooter craze. Over the next two years, they owned the majority of the scooter market with customers including Uber, Lime, Lyft, and Bird. We often get asked, “Why was Ninebot-Segway always the vendor of choice?” There are many company-specific strengths like their highly scalable supply chain, efficient improvements in safety and reliability, and Segway’s brand name that contributed to Ninebot’s success. The key moat that Ninebot has always possessed from its inception has been its product innovation and unique ability to rapidly produce and customize products to the needs of their customers and consumers.
Ninebot has always prided itself as a highly technical product team, they have the World’s largest R&D team focused on building multiple product lines of last mile modalities. When scooters were adopted, they were able to quickly put an incredible amount of resources toward building and innovating to meet customer needs. In 2020, Ninebot continues to build upon its all-electric product lines with new releases in consumer products (e-Motorcycle and e-GoKarts), powersports (ATVs and UTVs), and its next-generation AI delivery robot fit for food, hotel, and office deliveries.
As last-mile mobility continues to emerge and grow, we feel confident that Ninebot-Segway will be at the center of it and have solutions for every traveler. As always, we wanted to give a shout out to the entire team at Ninebot on this incredible milestone. Luke and his Co-Founder, Cid, are some of the most humble and hardworking entrepreneurs we know and we are glad they are a part of the WestSummit family. Sincere congrats to our co-investor friends at Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital China, Shunwei Capital, GIC, Intel Capital, China Mobile and SDIC for being part of this story.
– Third IPO in 2020: VeriSilicon (SHSE:688521), Unity Software (NYSE:U), Ninebot (SHSE:689009)
– Third public offering on Shanghai’s STAR Board since its launch in 2019
2018 in San Francisco with Luke Gao and Tony Ho
Ninebot robot rings the bell – Congrats!