Segway acquired by Ninebot, Xiaomi-backed Chinese start-up

Segway acquired by Xiaomi-backed Chinese startup Ninebot

Segway acquired by Xiaomi-backed Chinese startup Ninebot

Beijing based transportation robotics firm Ninebot announced on Wednesday that it has acquired U.S. rival Segway Inc, manufacturer of self-balancing electric scooters.

Once the deal is completed, Ninebot will use electric driving, mobile Internet and man-machine interaction technologies for upcoming products, Ninebot chief executive officer Gao Lufeng said at a press conference in Beijing. Both companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

The announcement came after Xiaomi Corp, the Beijing-based mobile and media company that owns part of Ninebot, joined in an $80 million investment round for Ninebot that included US venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and the Shunwei Foundation. According to its website, Ninebot was established in 2012 as a crowd-funded project and its products are currently available in more than 38 countries, with manufacturing facilities in China.

Segway President Rod Keller said in a video message that Ninebot is an upcoming short-distance transportation company supported by popular investors. The integration of Ninebot and Segway will bring together industry-leading research, development, production and engineering, he added.

Bedford, New Hampshire-based Segway owns more than 400 patents that are related to the devices and Ninebot’s buyout includes all of Segway’s assets.

Founder Dean Kamen launched the Segway in 2001 and began selling it to the public in 2002 claiming that his invention would revolutionize transportation. However, sales of the electric scooters could not successfully take off and it earned a crazy reputation due to some high-profile mishaps. This isn’t the first time the company has been purchased. In 2013, Segway was acquired by Summit Strategic Investments, LLC, according to the company.

Segway’s products are mostly used by police and tour groups, while sales to individuals have been hindered by an exorbitant price tag and limitations by cities on where the devices can be driven.

The two companies had been at odds in November 2014. The US International Trade Commission agreed to look into a claim by Segway that Ninebot and several other Chinese firms were infringing upon its patents.

Ninebot also manufactures a single-wheeled device called the Ninebot One. In the US, the Ninebot is available for US$3,199, while the Ninebot One sells for US$850, according to the company’s website.

China’s largest smartphone maker, Xiaomi is backing other start-ups to expand into web-enabled smart home devices and consumer electronics. The company has taken stakes in 27 such companies under plans to invest in as many as 100, Xiaomi Chief Executive Officer Lei Jun has said.

Avatar
Carrie Ann
Carrie Ann is Editor-in-Chief at Industry Leaders Magazine, based in Las Vegas. Carrie covers technology, trends, marketing, brands, productivity, and leadership. When she isn’t writing she prefers reading. She loves reading books and articles on business, economics, corporate law, luxury products, artificial intelligence, and latest technology. She’s keen on political discussions and shares an undying passion for gadgets. Follow Carrie Ann on Twitter, Facebook

Recent Posts

Weak US job report results in volatile market

Weak US job report results in volatile market

A weak job report resulted in a record close on Friday for the US stocks. The US labor department’s monthly non-farm payrolls report revealed employers hired 266,000 new workers
2 hours ago
Star and Blackstone launch bids to buyout Australia’s Crown Resorts

Star and Blackstone launch bids to buyout Australia’s Crown Resorts

A bidding war has broken out between Australian casino company Star Entertainment Group and US private equity investor Blackstone Group over Crown Resorts, Australia’s bigges
3 hours ago
5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

5 Most Expensive Divorce Settlements in History

Almost half of the marriages end in divorce is an oft-quoted adage, but surprisingly, this is not true in today’s world. The reasons are varied, gender equality, the higher p
1 day ago
JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase appoints two new CIOS in bid to make its C-suite more diverse

JPMorgan Chase, the largest U.S. bank by assets, has appointed two new executives to head its information units in a bid to make its workforce more inclusive and increase racial an
1 day ago
US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

US solar energy sector sees 7% drop in jobs

The U.S. solar industry witnessed a 7% cut in jobs due to the coronavirus and increasing use of labor-saving tech in the industry, according to an industry report. Job decline is n
1 day ago
Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone puts in an offer of $1.68 billion for St Modwen

Blackstone, the private equity firm, is planning to acquire St Modwen Properties, a logistics and housing developer, for £1.2bn ($1.68 billion) in a bid to take advantage of the P
3 days ago