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Riding through central Berlin on an e-scooter provided by the Bosch service company Coup
Annual report 2016 – agility stories

Moving silently through the capital

In Berlin, Bosch has started its Coup e-scooter service

Reading time: 10 minutes

Coup, a new Bosch subsidiary, is proving a hit in Berlin thanks to its app-controlled sharing platform for e-scooters. Coup’s pioneering service not only represents Bosch’s first foray into fleet management, but also the company’s first e-mobility business venture with end customers.

Sitting at three computer screens, two programmers work on software for the Coup service
Coup programmers: the rapid development of a start-up

It all began in early 2015 with an electrifying idea. Since Berlin’s public transit system often fails to meet the individual needs of users, and taxis tend to be hard to get, Bosch’s e-scooter sharing platform has been a swift and surprising coup. The name says it all: Coup GmbH is a wholly owned Bosch subsidiary – a company of just under 25 associates that is the archetype of an agile start-up.

100 kilometers

is the range of the e-sccoters, which have a top speed of 45 kph

The team took just over a year to put together an initial fleet of some 200 virtually silent electric scooters for the German capital. A user-friendly app handles the fleet management for these Gogoro two-wheelers. To quote the Coup CEO Mat Schubert: “Our plan was always to expand quickly, and we expect to add other cities soon.” In other words, Berlin – which Schubert dubs “the number-one capital city of sharing” – is just the beginning.

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Tour through Berlin: eScooter sharing with Coup

The Coup CEO Mat Schubert on one of the Gogoro e-scooters used by the start-up
Looking to expand quickly to other cities: the Coup CEO Mat Schubert

By creating its new, independent brand Coup, Bosch is making its first foray into a purely end-customer and operator business in the mobility sector. What is remarkable is just how quickly Mat Schubert and his team were able to get the project off the ground. Schubert, who previously worked in the Bosch Automotive Aftermarket division, has no doubt as to why: “The conditions were ideal and we had terrific support from Bosch, which acted as our internal venture partner.”

The ingenious thing about Coup is its user-friendliness

Using a smartphone app to order an e-scooter
The free app can be used to locate available e-scooters...
The Coup app on a smartphone
...as well as to reserve and pay for them. It also functions as a key
Standing behind a Coup e-scooter, a young man puts on a helmet
Each e-scooter comes complete with a helmet
A Coup e-scooter glides through central Berlin, followed by a tram
Renting an e-scooter from Coup for 30 minutes costs 3 euros
A Coup e-scooter glides past the Spreepalais complex in central Berlin
For a whole day, a flat rate of 20 euros applies
A Coup e-scooter glides through central Berlin. The motto emblazoned on the rider's helmet is: “Joincoup.com”
The scooter can be left anywhere within the area covered by Coup
Outside a hot-dog stall in Berlin, a young man leans back on his e-scooter and enjoys a currywurst
Time for a quick currywurst: Coup gives users plenty of flexibility

At present, the e-scooter service is available in a limited area – Berlin-Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain, and Kreuzberg. If you rent an e-scooter, you have to stay within the city center but can leave it virtually anywhere in that area when you’re done. “We're continuously testing all kinds of add-ons and improvements for our service,” Mat Schubert says. So we can all look forward to Coup’s next coup.

Summary

With its Coup service, Bosch has started an e-scooter offensive in Berlin. Its nearly 200 Gogoro e-scooters can be booked by app, and offer a silent and inexpensive way of getting around the city center.

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