Navigating through congested streets can be stressful, and
pollution caused by cars can be detrimental to the environment. Devising a way
around the traffic and pollution issue is Loop, a Beirut-based scooter sharing
The idea was born when a link between Telematics technology
and fleet management merged. The team behind Loop explored the positive impacts
of deploying electric vehicles in traffic-congested cities. Today, Loop powers
the rides of busy individuals, who commute in Beirut, helping them skip the
The bright orange scooters are seen buzzing across different
parts of Beirut, giving transportation a fun, affordable and eco-friendly edge.
Commuters just need to sign up to the Loop App, take part in an orientation
session, book the nearest scooter through the App, login to the App – then
unlock their ride, with a 4 digit PIN.
BDD sat with Mira Raham (MR), General Manager of Loop, to discuss
scooter sharing, consumer trends, innovation and safety.
BDD: How did the idea for Loop come about?
MR: Loop started with an electric scooter sharing model,
after witnessing first-hand, how easy scooters were to maneuver in congested
streets. With electric scooters, commuters, delivery personnel and even
tourists could get around easier, despite the standstill traffic.
And so, the Loop scooter sharing service was born, allowing
people to move around the city on electric scooters. They could be short trips
for various reasons, such as going to meetings, commuting to work, going to
university, meeting friends for lunch etc. The main aim is to avoid congestion
caused by traffic and reach their destination on time.
BDD: Has the business gained traction? What are the
challenges you face?
MR: Anyone who is a keen observer of consumer trends will
immediately recognize the growing tendency of the consumer to go for access
rather than ownership. Consumers are forgoing the security of owning products
and the status symbols that come with them, for the flexibility that on-demand
services allow them to have.
This is true for the transportation industry as well with a
plus provided by Loop, the ecofriendly aspect that comes with the service. With
the growing number of cars in major cities and all the negative side effects
that exist as a result, the average commuter is actively looking for solutions
that will get him from point A to point B in the most efficient and affordable
manner possible. This is what Loop aims to provide, hence applying the green
city model. With a diverse team of engineers, project managers and marketing
professionals and the technology to make that vision a reality, Loop is
catering to an essential need every busy urbanite has, which is mobility where
he or she needs it, when he or she needs it.
Since we launched, the service picked up quickly and demand
is constantly increasing.
However, access to funding has been the biggest obstacle in
scaling the business.
BDD: Do you actively work to raise awareness on safety?
MR: Safety is one key component of Loop, and we always cater
to raise awareness on the topic and remind our commuters of the need to address
the safety issues.
During the orientation session offered to each user, we
provide all the guidelines to make sure those measures are abided by. We do
offer a helmet that is compulsory to wear during the trips and penalties are
charged for not wearing it.
We also provide each user with a manual that covers road
hazards and driving guidelines. All of Loop users are constantly reminded
through different ways of the safety guidelines.
BDD: What are your global expansion plans?
MR: Loop is currently expanding in Lebanon by adding 60 new
units to its fleet and increasing the number of stations to spread over the
different areas of Beirut. We plan to have a total of 100 scooters by end of
Our plans expand beyond Lebanon to the region as we are
eyeing some neighboring countries where Loop service is needed.
BDD: What innovative features in the business model can you
Loop constantly strives to enhance its service and this
spreads across several areas. We do have a new versions of the scooter that is
completely keyless and that has additional sensors that address safety. Other
parts of the scooter have also been uplifted.
The main components of the service, the software and the App
have also been enhanced with new features and functionalities for the operators
and the users.