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Wag Founders Roll Out Wheels E-Bike Sharing Company With $37M, Bird And Lyft Execs

The “last mile” of the transportation business has gotten incredibly congested the past two years, with a host of companies offering cheap rides on electric scooters and bikes so consumers can get around without getting into a car.

Despite all the ensuing, expensive battles among companies such as Bird, Lime, Lyft and Uber’s Jump for market share, regulatory relief and consumer uptake, now might actually be a good time for a next-generation player. That’s the argument made by  Jonathan and Joshua Viner, brothers who founded the popular dog-walking app Wag, raised nearly $400 million, then left their operational roles last summer.

As of today, the Los Angeles-based brothers are launching Wheels, a very different take on dockless e-vehicle services, in San Diego, where it has been beta testing. Wheels rolls out backed by $37 million in investment capital, and bolstered by executive hires plucked from some of its incumbent competitors.

Investors include Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Crosscut Capital, 3L Capital, Naval Ravikant and what the company termed in a release “a collection of strategic investors from the entertainment and sports communities.” The company did not disclose names of the celebrity strategic investors. 

To beef up the new company’s business chops, Wheels also announced the hiring of former senior Bird and Uber executive Marco McCottry as Chief Operating Officer, and former Lyft director of product Ben Shaken as Chief Product Officer. Both had key roles in the first generation of shared electric vehicles, and the brutal resulting competition for market share in cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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