Brian O’Driscoll backs e-scooter start-up Zipp as it readies for UK launch

Former Irish rugby captain among a number of angel investors to invest €500,000 in Zipp

Former Irish rugby captain Brian O'Driscoll is among a number of angel investors to have backed Irish e-scooter start-up Zipp Mobility in a €500,000 funding round.

The investment brings funding to date to more than €1 million, with financing to be used for the company’s planned launch in Britain.

Zipp Mobility, which was founded last year by Charlie Gleeson, last week received approval from the UK department for transport to have its e-scooters used in sharing scheme trials.

The company is in talks with a number of councils in Britain to secure licences to provide services there after the government announced plans to accelerate trials of rented e-scooter schemes as part of its strategy to explore transport alternatives in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.


Handlebar wraps

The Zipp e-scooter features an aircraft-grade aluminium frame, 10-inch airless tyres, a swappable battery, dual braking, a wide base and a low centre of gravity. The scooters are also equipped with nano-septic handlebar wraps that, according to the start-up, reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission by 99.98 per cent.

Zipp is headquartered at NovaUCD and is an Enterprise Ireland high-potential start-up client company.

The start-up claims its e-scooter has a useful lifetime of more than two years, compared with the estimated industry average for shared scooters of just three months.

“This new funding puts Zipp in a really strong position to launch trials in the UK. These are exciting times for the Zipp Mobility team and this backing is a great mark of the momentum we are enjoying as a company,” said Mr Gleeson.

Mr Gleeson graduated from the UCD Lochlann Quinn School of Business in 2019. In the same year he also completed NovaUCD’s mentoring programme for student entrepreneurs and the UCD VentureLaunch accelerator programme for early-stage start-up companies.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist