What Happened to Zagster

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Zagster was a company that designed, built and operated bike sharing programs for cities, universities, corporate campuses, hotels, and residential communities across the United States. It also provided fleet management services for scooter and e-bike companies, such as Spin.

However, recently, when I try to access it via its official website – Zagster.com, it returns nothing and tells me Domain Not Claimed. It seems that this company and its website have been out of service since some time.

So what happened to Zagster? To figure it out, we have taken some time to collect its information by following its history, big events, partners, technology, and more, and finally attempt to say what eventually happened to the company.

Zagster website homepage

The History of Zagster

In 2007, Zagster was founded as CityRyde by Drexel University graduates Timothy Ericson and Jason Meinzer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 2009, CityRyde launched Spark, the world’s first off-the-shelf bike-sharing fleet management software, at the University of Chicago.

In 2011, CityRyde received Verified Carbon Standard validation of its software.

In 2012, CityRyde was renamed Zagster and moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to join the TechStars startup accelerator program.

In 2014, Zagster launched bike sharing programs for General Motors, Duke University, and Cleveland, Ohio.

In 2015, Zagster launched bike sharing programs for Workday, Inc., Intuitive Surgical, Purdue University, and Samsung in California.

In February, 2017, Zagster Brought Bike Sharing to Carrollton, Georgia

In January, 2018, Zagster’s bike share program came to Pittsburg, California. The Pittsburg City Council approved a two-year pilot program with Zagster to bring 16 bikes to five stations around the city in May 2018, coinciding with the opening of the new BART station.

In June, 2018, Zagster launched the Pace Parking project, a parking platform for bikes, electric bikes and electric scooters, in Chicago, Austin and Bloomington, Ind., with plans to expand to more cities later in 2018. The project was designed to support dockless lock-to vehicles, such as JUMP bikes and Skip scooters, and that Zagster was partnering with cities, private landowners and local businesses to install parking infrastructure at no cost.

On December 12, 2018, Zagster began operating under the name “Pace” in the city of Santa Clarita, CA.

In October, 2018, the city of Smyrna extended a $14,400 contract with Zagster for Smyrna’s bike-share program until March 8, 2019.

In November, 2018, the city of Framingham granted a license to Zagster for a bike sharing program, to help promote sustainable transportation and improve connectivity within the city.

In May, 2019, Zagster and Spin, an e-scooter startup backed by Ford Motors, announced that they launched a scooter sharing program in Albuquerque. The scooter-share program aimed to provide residents and visitors of Albuquerque with a convenient and eco-friendly transportation option. It would allow users to easily locate, unlock, and ride the electric scooters through a smartphone application. And the scooters were intended for short trips and provide a flexible alternative to traditional transportation methods.

In June, 2019, Provo Mayor Michelle Kafusi announced that the city has launched a pilot program with bike sharing program Zagster to bring 200 dockless Spin scooters and 100 bikes to Provo in August 2019.

In October, 2019, Zagster announced its launch of “Best-in-Class Fleet Management Services” in Winston-Salem, N.C. to help its micromobility program. It aimed at meeting the evolving needs of shared mobility operators, by offering a comprehensive suite of fleet management solutions, including deployment, rebalancing, maintenance, and data analytics.

The Technology of Zagster, Making It Unique in the Industry

Zagster used technology for its business model and made it unique in several ways. Some of the technology that Zagster used and made it unique are:

Zagster developed a micro-mobility operations platform that provided fleet management services for individuals and organizations. Zagster’s platform enabled its customers and partners to launch, operate, and scale their own bike sharing programs with minimal upfront costs and risks.

Zagster also used a proprietary locking system that allowed users to lock and unlock bikes at any public bike rack, not just at designated stations. This gave users more flexibility and convenience in finding and parking bikes, and reduced the need for expensive infrastructure.

Zagster integrated its software with various hardware and software solutions, such as smart bikes, e-bikes, scooters, RFID cards, mobile apps, and web portals. This allowed Zagster to offer different types of bikes and models of bike sharing to suit different needs and preferences of its customers and partners.

Zagster also used technology to measure the environmental and social impact of its bike sharing programs, such as carbon emissions reduction, health benefits, and community engagement. Zagster’s software was the first in the industry to receive Verified Carbon Standard validation for its ability to quantify the carbon credits generated by bike sharing.

The Zagster Funding Situation

July 1, 2010, Zagster raised an undisclosed amount / Pre Seed round from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Mar 14, 2011, Zagster raised an undisclosed amount / Angel round from New Dominion Angels.

June 29, 2011, Zagster raised $245,000 / Angel round from New Dominion Angels.

September 12, 2011, Zagster raised an undisclosed amount / Angel round from New Dominion Angels and Stephen Killeen.

January 24, 2012, Zagster raised $118,000 / Seed round from Right Side Capital Management and Techstars.

October 18, 2012, Zagster raised $1,000,000 / Series Unknown from Bob Mason and 13 other investors.

May 28, 2014, Zagster raised $1,200,000 / Seed round from Alumni Ventures and LaunchCapital.

July 2, 2015, Zagster raised $3,500,000 / Series A round from Clean Energy Venture Group and 3 other investors.

January 5, 2017, Zagster raised $10,000,000 / Series B round from Alumni Ventures and Edison Partners.

February 21, 2018, Zagster raised $15,000,000 / Series C round from Clean Energy Venture Group and 4 other investors.

Zagster Ended due to The COVID-19 and The Acquisition by Superpedestrian

In March, 2020, according to Zagster, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the bicycle program was suspended. And then on June 4, 2020, Zagster announced the sale of itself to Superpedestrian, a micro-mobility technology company. Edison Partners, an investment firm and early investor in Zagster, facilitated the transaction.

The acquisition is described as a strategic combination of two leading micro-mobility companies. Superpedestrian’s advanced vehicle intelligence technology, called the Vehicle Intelligent Platform (VIP), is highlighted as a complement to Zagster’s fleet management expertise. The acquisition is expected to result in innovative solutions that improve safety, efficiency, and the user experience in the shared micro-mobility space. The acquisition aligns with Superpedestrian’s vision to transform the micro-mobility industry through the use of advanced technology and industry expertise.

Zagster’s customer base and partnerships will be integrated into Superpedestrian’s operations.

What Then Happened to Zagster.com

After the Zagster acquisition by Superpedestrian, its official website was not gone immediately. I guess it mainly helped the aftermath settlement. And till around October, 2021, the website – Zagster.com was finally shut down. When you access it, it returns “Domain Not Claimed”.

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AUTHOR

Randy Joycelyn

Randy is the founder and editor of Cycling Soigneur. He has been passionate about cycling since he was a kid. He has been riding bikes for over 10 years. Cycling has just become a part of life.

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