The small scooter elegantly turns the corner before drawing to a soundless halt. A young woman with tattooed arms takes off her helmet and shakes her partially green hair in the Californian sunshine. With a swing of her leg, she hops off and parks the red scooter before disappearing into a garage in San Francisco’s hip SoMa neighborhood.
Inside, electronic gear is piled high next to tires and other spare scooter parts. Tools lie next to a coffee machine atop a kitchenette attached to the wall in slapdash fashion.
“Yes, this is actually our office,” a young man with a hipster beard and antique watch says while giggling nervously and surveying the chaos.
Up some wiggly, white steps in the conference room, the heat of the Californian sun has combined with the musty air of hours of discussion.
Mike Waltman breathes it all in and drops into a chair. He just talked with Munich earlier today, says the 32-year-old.
“It’s really fantastic that the deal with the Germans went so fast and was so uncomplicated,” says the fleet boss of Scoot Networks, a scooter-sharing provider. While he’s talking, 150 electric scooters costing $5,000 (€4,471) apiece are being unloaded at the other end of the city.