October 5, 2022

when you think In terms of shared micro-mobility, Veo isn’t exactly the first company that comes to mind. It’s not as widespread as competitors like Voi, Tier, and Lime, and it hasn’t raised much venture capital. But as consolidation and, simply put, bad business shape the industry, Veo has maintained a steady, profitable pace. That is, if CEO and co-founder Candice Xie is to be believed.

Veo, perhaps best known for its comfortable seating scooters and its constant presence in the e-scooter pilot in New York City, has stuck to a business model that views micro-mobility more as a utility than a start-up. Instead of raising tons of money to expand as quickly as possible in hopes of achieving favorable unit economies, Veo has slowly focused on being sustainable, one city at a time. In June 2021, Veo was in 22 markets. Today, there are 27, and nearly all of them are exclusive or limited seller contracts.

“I really believe this industry takes time to build, and who survives is the most important thing. In the long run, who can withstand all the crazy market turmoil?” Veo CEO Candice Xie

While venture capital may be shivering from this seemingly slow growth — the global Lime city counts around 225 — Xie says Veo is on track to maintain a sustainable business that continues to turn profits.

We sat down with Xie a year after our initial interview to talk about what’s going on with all these layoffs, why the ADAS scooter isn’t all that cracked up and how a sustainable financial base can help startups weather market turmoil.

The following interview, part of an ongoing series with founders building moving companies, has been edited for length and clarity.

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