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Fifteen to sell part of business and restructure workforce

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European bike sharing service Fifteen has told Zag Daily that it will be selling part of its business to streamline its technology footprint. 

For the last two years, Fifteen has only been selling its ‘Fusion’ technology – a connected e-bike for self-service and leasing – and will now sell its remaining technologies to a third party. 

Zag understands that half of Fifteen’s staff that are developing the old technologies – its Smoove bikes – will be transferred to the third party, and around half will be made redundant. 

“We’re working towards a streamlined company with a clear product and target. The reorganisation of Fifteen’s teams will be based on the simplification of its technology,” Fifteen CEO Benoit Yameundjeu told Zag Daily.

Fifteen cannot give an exact figure on how many redundancies will be made as the third-party acquisition is not expected to close until September. 

However, Benoit addressed existing rumours and said that the number is “far below half of the company”. 

Fifteen, which formed after French self-service bike companies Smoov and Zoov merged in 2021, offers all-in-one ‘Augmented Bike Networks’ allowing users to rent Fusion bikes on an ad-hoc basis and also privatise them for regular use.

It currently supplies approximately 20 cities and will see 18 to 19 of those transition to solely offering the Fusion technology. Fifteen has made the Fusion technology compatible with existing bike stations to support the transition.

The supply contracts of the remaining one to two cities which won’t switch to Fusion will be transferred to the third-party acquirer.

“It’s complicated and expensive to maintain a lot of different technology,” Benoit said. “We had three different software platforms and multiple bikes which don’t add to our company’s development. 

“Fusion’s technology allows us to have more efficient operations on the ground thanks to its connectivity.”

According to the company, Fusion’s compact charging stations means they can be installed at a lower cost and use less public space compared to other charging stations. By focusing on this technology, the company aims to accelerate its journey to profitability in the next two years.

It also plans to launch in new cities in three core markets: Germany, France and Spain, as well as in Italy and the UK.

Fifteen can announce the number of transfers and redundancies made once the acquisition of technology is closed in September. No further redundancies are expected to be made.

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