Intriguing news from the personal transportation mobility device sector: Beijing-based company Ninebot has announced that not only will it acquire rival Segway, but it has also scored $80 million in funding from investors including Xiaomi, Sequoia Capital, and Shunwei Foundation.
This marks the third time that Segway, which has struggled to live up to its much-hyped 2001 launch, when it was vaunted as the « future of transportation, » has been acquired. It was purchased by UK-based CEO Out in 2010 before being sold to Summit Strategic Investments in 2013.
The deal is especially interesting (and ironic) because Ninebot was named by Segway and its founder Dean Kamen in a trade complaint last year. Segway and DEKA, another company launched by Kamen, claimed Ninebot, as well as other Chinese companies WindRunner, FreeGo, and Robstep, infringed Segway’s patents.
In an entry still on its FAQ, Ninebot is careful to delineate…
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