After finding itself in a pretty turbulent position after having laid-off its Grin scooter delivery workers and performing a less than stellar exit, Grow is finding ways to reinvent itself.
Due to the sanitary global crisis, micro-mobility products and services took a massive hit to their earnings and operations.
Social distancing and work from home practices reduced the number of people transiting the city to a bare minimum, which led to an obvious decrease in vehicle usage. Grin Scooters, the Mexican-branch of scaleup Grow Mobility, charged users on a per-ride basis up until last week.
Now, it is switching gears and trying a new approach: tailor-made subscriptions.
People that can’t stop commuting are going to go the distance anyway. The problem now is that scooters are used by a large number of people on a daily basis, and aren’t necessarily the most hygienic transportation choice during these times.
To tackle these concerns, the new subscriptions will allow users to rent a particular unit, receive it and keep it at home, for a month and with unlimited rides during that time period.
Grin4U, as the new initiative is called, will cost MX$800 for the general public and MX$500 for healthcare workers (approx US$40 and US$25, respectively).
Users can subscribe to this new service through the app or the company’s website; they should be at least 18 years old and have a valid and up-to-date Grin account. Finally, the service will only be available for Mexico City residents for now.
Post-payment, the user will receive the unit, completely sanitized directly in their address, along with the charger so they can manage the battery life themselves.
Now, as Peter Parker’s uncle Ben said “with great power comes great responsibility”. So obviously, users will have to handle the maintenance and hygiene of the scooter by themselves while they keep it. If there’s any issue, of course, they should report it through the app so it can be replaced.
So let’s review what Grow will probably be saving on thanks to this move:
- Delivery costs—picking up scooters on a monthly basis is way easier than on an unpredictable and daily basis.
- Charging costs—When you picked up a scooter back in the day, you expected it to be fully functional and topped up with juice. That’s on you now.
- Direct responsibility—People used to mistreat those scooters they saw dumped on the street back in the day. Now, if you break it, Grin will know who’s to blame.
- Cash flow—Use it or not, you’ve paid for the scooter for a month, and that will give the company a bit more wiggle room.
Spark of hope
Let’s remember Grow already operates in six countries, with more than 20 million rides and considered to be the world’s third-largest micro-mobility company. This is no small thing.
Now, a company can’t be judged by the macroeconomic conditions surrounding it, but it sure can be judged by how it reacts to them. Although it initially reacted less than ideally, this new model represents a new attempt for it to remarket itself and take the company to where it was before… or better, we hope.
Let’s hope their laid-off workers find similar solace in a tough economy.