Scooter startup Unagi brings subscription service to Seattle with monthly fee and no sharing hassles

Unagi scooters featuring a folding stem for easy transport. (Unagi Photo)

Scooting around the idea of scooter sharing, Oakland, Calif.-based Unagi is broadening its “All Access” subscription service to several new cities, including Seattle. The model allows scooter riders to have their own electric scooter without actually purchasing one and without relying on docked sharing programs.

Seattle is already home to a scooter-sharing program run by the city’s Department of Transportation. Like bike sharing, free-floating units from Wheels, Lime and LINK are currently scattered around the city and accessible to riders through an app and for a fee based on length of time used.

Unagi was launched in 2018 by CEO and co-founder David Hyman, formerly CEO of Beats Music. The company builds a sleek, foldable scooter and believes All Access offers more convenience by providing riders with a mico-mobility option that is always available.

Citing skyrocketing demand for scooters over the past year as the pandemic has made riders weary of public transportation and ride-hailing services, Unagi also announced that it has raised a $10.5 million. The Series A funding round was led by The Ecosystem Integrity Fund with participation from Menlo Ventures, Broadway Angels, and Gaingels, among others.

All Access customers pay a flat $49 monthly fee that includes maintenance and insurance for scooter theft or damage. A Model One scooter, which you can buy outright for $990 or $840, depending on motor size, is delivered to new subscribers via FedEx within 72 hours.

If there is a maintenance issue, Unagi will send a replacement.

The service was previously tested in New York and Los Angeles and is now expanding to Austin, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle region, including Renton, Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.

“You can ride it to your heart’s content as long as you’re subscribed,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday. “You’ll never need to wonder if your Unagi is clean, fully charged, or if the last rider was in good health. It will be there when you need it — always. And it’s adaptable if your transportation needs change; your Unagi will fit easily on the subway or in the back of an Uber.”

Unagi says a 30-day subscription works out to just $1.63 per day. All Access requires a three-month commitment and can be canceled any time after that.


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