Niu have developed a booming premium e-scooter business from scratch in just two years – raising hundreds of millions of yuan through record breaking crowdfunding campaigns and becoming the brand for discerning Chinese millennials. AustCham’s Luke Pegrum and Santiago Mateos sat down with Niu’s Director of Overseas Business Casper Zhao to find out what foreign brands can learn from Niu’s sucess.
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Niu don’t just make scooters, they aim to change the way urban people live and engage with the city – while doing their bit to save the environment.
As they explain on their website:
“NIU was born at the intersection of technology and industrial design. Co-founder LI Yi Nan (former CTO of Baidu) and Token HU (formerly of frog Design and Microsoft) joined forces to create a vehicle that envisions a new way urbanites live, work, and socialize in their favorite cities around the world”
They’ve since brought on board senior hires from some of China’s leading tech firms including Huawei and Xiaomi, as well as design talent from around the world.
In 2015 they launched the N1 eScooter and in just 11 days raised $11,000,000 USD on JD‘s Equity Crowdfunding platform – one of the top-ten crowdfunded campaigns of all-time globally.
They launched their second model, the M1 eScooter in 2016, once again smashing crowdfunding records.
Their successful crowdfunding campaigns and rapid growth – they now have over 400 employees and have six new bricks-and-mortar showrooms in the pipeline – stem from the company’s sage-like understanding of what drives Chinese young-professionals.
Crucially though, Niu see themselves not as a Chinese brand, but an international one – and, as Casper explains, they have an ambitious plan to show the world what a premium Chinese brand looks like.
To learn more about Niu, check out their website.
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