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Grishin Robotics global bikesharing to “make smart cities a reality”

Grishin Robotics, an international venture fund with Russian roots, is investing massively in bikesharing platforms. Over the past four months the fund has completed no less than three deals in this segment:

“The emergence of bikesharing could mark the biggest evolution in urban mobility since the development of personal cars,” Grishin Robotics Principal Valery Komissarova told East-West Digital News.

Station-based bike sharing systems have been around for some time. According to various estimates cited by Komissarova, about 1,000 of such programs already exist around the globe.

“But the stationless bike-sharing is a completely different paradigm,” the venture capitalist believes.

Smart from concept to reality

“Just pause to think about it: smart bikes are connected to the cloud 24/7 and beyond obvious health benefits for riders and positive impact on air quality and traffic congestion for the cities, you actually end up having millions of Internet-connected objects continuously moving throughout every corner of the city. How many sensors you can potentially install into these bikes and how much data can be collected both by businesses and municipalities? This is a first real big step in making the smart city concept a reality.”

See also: Can IoT make bike rides safer?

The success of the first big-scale stationless bike-sharing systems in China demonstrates that this new paradigm is “indeed a game changer,” claims Komissarova.

Launched in 2012 by Mail.Ru Group’s CEO Dmitry Grishin, Grishin Robotics initially focused exclusively on robotics, then started showing interest in such areas as collaborative and material handling robots, AI and data analytics, industrial IoT and other hardware or software innovation.

Last year Grishin announced a new $100 million fund to invest in the USA and Europe.

This past spring the fund invested in Wonder, a somehow enigmatic Californian startup which is developing an “all-in-one and one-for-all-gamers” product with virtual reality features. The deal involved a variety of other investors, including Colombian singer Shakira and football stars Gérard Piqué and Neymar.