Micro Mobility Systems
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|Industry||Sporting goods, toys, electric vehicles|
|Revenue||CHF 60 million (financial year 2014) |
Number of employees
|57  (September 2015)|
Micro Mobility Systems Ltd, known as Micro, is a Swiss company that invents urban mobility solutions like the kickscooter or the Microlino, a small electric car which was first presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016. In the United States, Micro's products are sold under the brand "Micro Kickboard" for trademark reasons. The company holds several patents for its products.
Wim Ouboter, born in 1960, invented the kickscooter out of laziness. He states that the way from his apartement to his favorite restaurant was too far to go by foot and yet too close to use a bike. He then invented a two-wheeled scooter for those kind of distances that could easily be folded and placed in a backpack. He pitched his idea to Smart and they were willing to put one Scooter in every single car. Ouboter then tried to find a manufacturer for his innovation, but soon realized that Europe simply was too expensive. In Taiwan he could convince the owner of a factory to produce the Scooter, also because he had proof that Smart liked his idea. Just before the production could start Smart failed the moose test and so the project was put on hold, since Smart had to solve that problem.
Formation of Micro Mobility Systems
But Ouboter had another idea: a three-wheeled scooter, called the Kickboard. He teamed up with K2 and presented his idea at the International Sports Fair (ISPO) in Munich in 1998 very successfully. With the earned money he founded Micro Mobility Systems in 1999 and started producing the two-wheeled Scooter, which was an even bigger success. Because of the excessive demand, he allowed his partner in Taiwan to distribute the Scooter in the United States with the name Razor for a commission. After having sold about one million Scooters in 2000, the sales decreased rapidly in 2001.
Becoming a lifestyle brand
In the subsequent years, the company continued to invent new products, designed for urban mobility, like the Mini Micro for kids, the Scooter Luggage or the electric emicro one. In addition, Micro has teamed up with other brands, like Peugeot, Suitsupply or Vibram to name a few.
With Micro Xtreme the brand also went into Freestyle Sports and works closely with professional Athletes like Benjamin Friant. After the huge success in 2000 and the rapid downfall in 2001, Micro has grown organically with a gross revenue in 2014 of 60 Million Swiss Francs. With the development of the company, manufacturing capacities shifted to RazorUSA in California. The evolution of Micro into a lifestyle brand that invents mobility solutions for children, teenagers and adults was honoured by Ernest and Young in 2015, when Wim Ouboter was nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year.
The Microlino was first presented in 2016 at the Geneva Car Show. Based on the design of the Isetta, a 1950s bubble car which was sold over 160,000 times, the new design has a battery powered electric motor. The two-seat small car is designed for urban mobility with a top speed of 90 kilometres per hour (56 mph), a range of 120 kilometres (75 mi) and can be charged from a domestic power outlet. The car is expected to be on the market in 2019 with an estimated price of 12,000 Euro and initial sales limited to Germany and Switzerland. In July 2018, the firm announced that Microlino has just passed the final tests for EU homologation.
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