Zipp partners with Free Now to put wheels in motion ahead of Irish launch

5 Jan 2022

Niall Carson of Free Now (middle) with Charlie Gleeson and Will O'Brien of Zipp Mobility. Image: Julien Behal

Zipp has become the latest micromobility company to pair up with Free Now so Irish customers can book e-scooter and e-bike rides via the taxi app.

Irish micromobility start-up Zipp Mobility is teaming up with Free Now to allow users to book e-scooters and e-bikes from the transport app.

The partnership will set the wheels in motion for Zipp’s Irish roll-out, which is planned for this year. The announcement comes on the back of recently announced legislation that will regulate the use of e-scooters and e-bikes on Irish roads.

Zipp is headquartered at the NovaUCD entrepreneurship centre at University College Dublin, where it has been collaborating with researchers to find ways to make e-scooters safer for the public.

According to Zipp’s founder and CEO Charlie Gleeson, the company was “founded with Ireland in mind”. It will be launching its services in cities across the country when legislation allows, including Dublin, Galway, Cork and Limerick. Last year, the Dublin start-up raised €1.3m to go towards its launch in Ireland.

Gleeson said that the integration of Zipp’s services with Free Now’s taxi-hailing app would be a “great asset” to e-bike and e-scooter users. Zipp is already active in the UK and mainland Europe, and plans to launch in Portugal and Spain as well as Ireland this year.

“At Zipp we understand that micromobility is not a ‘silver bullet’ solution to decarbonising transport, so we must collaborate with platforms like Free Now to give our customers a full spectrum of sustainable transport options,” Gleeson added. “This is the only way we can meaningfully reduce our reliance on the private car and get to net-zero emissions in transport.”

Last year, Free Now made similar partnership deals in Ireland with Zipp competitors Dott and Tier Mobility.

The company’s general manager in Ireland, Niall Carson, said Free Now and micromobility operators share “common ambitions to change, and ultimately improve, the way people across Ireland approach daily transport”.

“It’s a really exciting time for the industry now that legislation on e-scooters is in motion, and we look forward to having e-scooters available on our app in 2022,” he added. “We understand that our customers want to make more sustainable choices and having the option to book an e-scooter or EV taxi facilitates this … It’s all about convenience and giving our customers the choice.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.