Circ's electric scooters with solid tires and swapable batteries
Circ's scooters are designed to reduce the cost of maintenance with swappable batteries and solid tires.

The Berlin-based shared electric scooter operator, Circ (formerly flash), has made several layoffs in its HQ and regional operations. The exact number of employees let go hasn’t been confirmed but expected to be 50 employees or less than 10% of its total headcount.

The cause of layoffs was driven by seasonality, operational learnings, and the move to put swappable batteries into their e-scooters. Despite these layoffs Circ has a long list of open positions posted on their site.

During colder months Circ expects scooter rides to decrease 50% compared to summer months.

In the beginning Circ and other shared scooter operators were in a land grab to expand into as many cities as possible. With this phase of the business winding down as the temperature cools off Circ is looking how to run their operations more efficiently.

The recent move to introduce swappable batteries into the scooter fleet has allowed Circ to limit the frequency scooters need to be moved. Scooters no longer need to be taken off the street to charge. Instead a drained battery is swapped out for one with a full charge. Doing this limits the number of employees needed to maintain the fleet.

Circ is claiming its scooters are profitable in five out of 14 cities where they operate. It has 3 million registered users averaging 3.3 rides each. Circ plans to be profitable across all territories in 2020.

Circ scooter with swappable battery
Swappable batteries in Circ's scooters have led to a reduction in employees needed to maintain the fleet.