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Cities Startups Policy

Scooter Startups Try to Solve Their Parking Problem

Sergio Romo is trying to build the Latin American version of Lime or Bird, recently raising about a $20 million seed round for Grin, his scooter startup, from prominent Silicon Valley investors including Y Combinator, DCM Ventures and Shasta Ventures, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Romo said he has learned a lesson from some of the disorderly scooter deployments in U.S. cities: Find brick-and-mortar allies.

Grin, which operates a fleet of a few hundred electric scooters in Mexico City, is one of a number of scooter companies that has decided to partner with restaurants, retailers and corner stores to provide special parking areas for scooters. Other operators are experimenting with a range of parking strategies, which they hope will convince policy makers that the vehicles, rather than being obstacles or eyesores, can blend into the urban fabric.

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‘The need for more organized [scooter] parking has become a real issue for cities.’