Unagi, the portable and design-oriented electric scooter company that caused a sensation among celebrities and pop stars, has launched a subscription service.
The service called Unagi All-Access is offered in New York City and Los Angeles. The company plans to expand into additional markets to collect customer feedback and refine the service.
Customers can choose from two plans. There will be a monthly pay-as-you-go plan that costs $ 39 a month and a discounted annual plan for $ 34 a month. Unagi charges an initial setup fee of $ 50, which means the first month will cost customers $ 89. The monthly flat fee includes maintenance and insurance for scooter theft or damage.
As soon as a customer has registered, an assembled Model One roller will be delivered to their home within 24 hours, Unagi promises. The Model One costs $ 990 for customers who want to buy the scooter right away.
As soon as a customer cancels his subscription, Unagi recalls the scooter, which is then subjected to an 80-point test. Unagi tells theinformationsuperhighway that it is the same inspection that the scooters go through at the factory. There is no written guarantee that subscribers will receive a new scooter. However, Unagi said customers will likely get new scooters as the company has ramped up production since the pandemic started to meet demand.
It's a risk for Unagi, but one that the company is betting on will pay off in the midst and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This model works well for today's world: as cities open up, people are rethinking how to get to the supermarket, post office, and park," the company's recent blog post announcing the service says . "Data shows that COVID-cautious consumers are afraid of being transported together, whether it is the subway, an Uber or a shared scooter. They are looking for safer alternatives."
According to CEO David Hyman, the company was looking for a subscription service before COVID-19 was released worldwide.
Unagi tested the idea last fall. In collaboration with UC Berkeley's Haas Business School, a more in-depth study was launched in the spring that found demand to be higher than expected.
"COVID only reinforced our desire to bring it live and was the impetus to go live in LA and NYC at the same time," said Hyman theinformationsuperhighway in an email.
Unagi is not alone in this scooter subscription pivot or what we like to call hardware-as-a-service. Others are also pursuing this business model, including dance and voi.