Luup, Inc, a Japan-based sharing service of electric micromobility including e-scooters and e-bikes, said Wednesday it has raised a total of 1 billion yen ($7.97 million) through debt and asset financing.

This is the first time in Japan that an e-scooter sharing service operator has raised funds through asset financing, and this financing brings Luup’s total funding to approximately 4.6 billion yen ($36.69 million), Luup said in a statement.

It said as a leading operator of electric micromobility sharing service, it will continue to expand the number of vehicles, ports, and service areas and evolve the service into an infrastructure that can be used more easily by city residents.

At the same time, in the future, it said it will offer universal mobility vehicles with three or four wheels that can be used safely by the elderly and people with disabilities, aiming for a future in which all people can travel freely in the first and last mile.

According to the statement, the financing is done through sale-and-leaseback transactions of e-scooters with several financial institutions, including Sumitomo Mitsui Finance and Leasing, Mitsubishi HC Capital, and others, and through receiving loans from MUFG Bank, Japan Finance Corporation, and The Shoko Chukin Bank, the latter two being Japanese government-backed financial institutions.

This financing was provided for all e-scooters to be introduced by May, and discussions are underway with each financial institution to expand transactions for vehicles to be introduced in the future.

Luup said the financial institutions acknowledged its stability as a business and its contribution to decarbonization and sustainability, and it will continue to expand its business by utilizing debt and asset finance in addition to equity finance.

Luup provides a sharing service for electric, compact, and single-passenger micromobility with the mission to “create an infrastructure that makes the entire city ‘a station front.’” The rollout began with e-bikes in May 2020, followed by the introduction of e-scooters in April 2021 as a demonstration experiment using the “System of Special Arrangements for Corporate Field Tests” under Japan’s Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act.

Luup accounts for more than 90 percent share of e-scooter rides under the system of special arrangements for corporate field tests for Micromobility Promotion Council member companies

The company has been conducting its business through a series of discussions and dialogues with local governments, relevant ministries, agencies, and town residents, including users, with safety as its top priority.

“To achieve our mission to create an infrastructure that makes the entire city ‘a station front’, we have been building our service ‘LUUP’, including both software and hardware products and an operating model to support them while carefully listening to the voices of the people of the city. We are very pleased that we were able to raise this scale of debt and asset financing, and we believe that this is a result of LUUP’s stability as a business and its value as a sustainable infrastructure,” said Daiki Okai, Representative of Luup.

“We will continue to expand our business to meet the increasing demand while improving safety. To achieve this, the cooperation of new members who will support us is indispensable. We are looking forward to hearing from those who are determined to change LUUP to realize our mission,” he said.

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