Is Boosted Board out of business in 2023? In the field of electric vehicles, 2020 marks the end of an era. Boosted Board was closing its doors. For those of us who don’t know the brand, Boosted was largely considered the inventor of the electric skateboard. The Boosted Rider team received a statement from Co-Founder John Ulmen and Company CEO Jeff Russakow. They provide justification for their decision to let “a major percentage of the enhanced team leave” in their message.
American businesses are renowned for their ability to develop excellent brands. Such powerful brands can demand enormous financial margins for the goods and services they market under such brands. Boosted Board was forced out of business despite a stunning brand, excellent products, a high sales price, and the support of nobody other than Casey Neistat, the popular vlogger and entrepreneur.
After receiving numerous rounds of dollar-based venture capital funding, the California-based urban mobility startup closed its doors in 2020. It was simply unable to achieve any level of financial stability.
DiscontinuedNews is impartial and independent, and every day, we create distinctive, world-class programs, news, and content that inform, educate and entertain millions of people worldwide.
Does the Boosted Board still exist?
Using a skateboard has always been trendy. Risks aside, they got much cooler whenever anyone decided to put an engine in them. It may also come as a surprise given the current trend toward micro mobility and “last-mile” cars. It has been since the early 1970s, when the first motorized skateboards were introduced.
Millennials, however, have started utilizing electric skateboards and scooters to get around and upload Tik Tok videos as they go. And this is primarily because of one business called Boosted.
Yes, there have been other motorized boards previously. However, the increased number of boards improved the gameplay. They took an old concept and made it modern, elegant, and of the highest caliber. The control system was simple to use, and the business aimed to develop close relationships with its clients. But in March 2020, Boosted fired a large number of its workers and started looking for a buyer.
In a blog post, Boosted CEO Jeff Russakow and CTO John Ulmen blamed the layoffs on the high cost of designing, manufacturing, and servicing electric vehicles. They also mentioned an “unplanned obstacle with a significant cost of the US-China tariff war.”Under the new management, they stated, “The Boosted brand will continue to explore strategic possibilities.”
Boosted, a company that was founded in 2012, launched an electric scooter in 2020, marking its first venture outside of electric skateboards. According to Boosted, over 100,000 passengers have driven tens of millions of miles on the industry’s vehicles.
The business seemed to be doing well for the average customer. But it was actually struggling with the same basic issues that any startup does. Boosted was not, sadly, the first of these electric skateboard firms to fail. Inboard, the big competitor, put itself up for sale in late 2019. The two businesses had a single element that ultimately contributed to their different failures.
Why did Boosted fail?
Boosted debuted its initial products—the Single, Dual, and Dual+ boards—in 2014 after obtaining investors. The models ranged in range, power, and price, naturally, and had one or two motors.
They achieved virtually instant success in part due to their exceptional quality and precision. Users of Reddit refer to them as the “Apple” of message boards. This meant that Boosted boards weren’t inexpensive when compared to other brands because models started at $1,000 and above.
However, many bought them. The business was also putting a lot of effort into its second generation of e-boards, which had greater power, better looks, and more sizes.
Boosted boards now have riding groups, Reddit threads, and YouTube channels, giving them cult-like popularity. Whatever it was, Boosted was over there. The ship was sailing in the correct direction when they received an investment of roughly $10 million at this time.
But a large part of it is also credited to Casey Niestat, a YouTuber readers may be familiar with. He frequently used a Boosted board in his videos, which attracted viewers. But let’s focus on a certain Aladdin-related video. That’s accurate.He developed and directed the popular video “Aladdin Magic Carpet Prank.”
While Aladdin rode through NYC on his board, curious onlookers wondered what board he was on. Is riding this simple? People were highly interested in the video. The marketing firm Overdrive presents a strong argument for the effect that this video had on Boosted. Additionally, it was a two-edged sword. What would occur if Niestat abruptly ceased boosting his board?
Even though everything was going their way, there were still a few humps in the road.An ardent Boosted user named Rick Bross reported that his board was emitting some form of smoke at the beginning of 2016.
The whole thing was then posted on those well-known Reddit threads. Boosted contacted him right away, offered replacement parts, and requested the return of the damaged component.Sanjay Dastoor, the CEO of Boosted, continued the investigation by flying from California to New York to talk with Bross and evaluate the damaged board.
And that wasn’t an isolated incident; another user also reported a smoking battery. The boards had to be completely stopped from being used. Later, Boosted was compelled to issue a recall and instruct customers to disconnect the batteries.
Dastoor realized that its own quality control level was to blame, which required stopping production during the busiest months of the year—November and December. Although they planned to resume production in January 2017, Boosted’s revenues took a significant hit.
And Dastoor’s circumstances didn’t truly change. Despite his best efforts, Boosted was still only reaching electric boards, which frustrated him. So, in the middle of 2017, he resigned from his position as CEO, and Jeff Russakow, another Stanford alum, took his place.
As soon as he came, Russakow invested resources in the business in an effort to expand it. He moved to a new office and more than doubled the staff to roughly 160 people. Also, he put in a lot of effort to introduce the third generation of boosted boards. He also worked hard to improve employee health benefits.
According to him, the company expanded by 450% in 2017 and intended to continue expanding with more affordable and compact boards like the Boosted Mini. These new items are $750 more expensive than larger, more premium boards.
And sure, Russakow was adamant about extending beyond just boards to include things like scooters. Even with innovative products and an apparently successful year in 2017, Boosted still required funding.Therefore, 2018 was also a year of investment searches. The cash would be used to introduce the Rev, a $1600 scooter, and successfully enter the skateboard market.
Rev, a promising scooter, was going to be made entirely in China. In actuality, China was where Boosted whole product line was produced.One of the main causes is that Boosted Boards simply couldn’t compete with the far less expensive Chinese imports of its goods.
Why did Boosted Board go out of business?
Thus, even though Russakow insisted to the contrary, it appeared that Boosted would suffer immediately if a trade war broke out. He advised the Verge Boosted to “consume” the tariffs enacted during the conflict.
Boosted asked for and was granted an exception on its products as soon as the trade conflict started, though.Even though this might seem wonderful right now, it wouldn’t benefit them right away. Boost would not immediately experience these advantages because the U.S. government was taking a long time to exact justice.
Then news spread that Boosted was delaying payments to its merchants. The Rev, the hero scooter, was delayed, and some vendors were due up to $100,000 as a result. Furthermore, it’s not as if there were no other scooters available. Due to Asian competition, less expensive
solutions became accessible, and they weren’t all that terrible. Therefore, Boosted was actually slowing in a market that was moving extremely quickly.
Boosted had grown significantly by this point. Since the majority of its 150 employees were engineers earning decent salaries, merely paying the payroll required a significant amount of money.
And they did make excellent items. However, there is still a crowded market for micro mobility. The market is flooded with reverse-engineered goods, some of which are ironically made in China and cost half as much.
So, in order to survive, the corporation started cutting costs in late 2019 and early 2020. They cut back on employee perks like lunchtime meals. Instead, they kindly requested that their staff members bring their own lunch.
And even though this might have seemed like a little adjustment, it was a sign of how things were going.Later, several of the company’s top employees left. The CMO was the first to leave. Later followed by the vice presidents of engineering, quality, operations, and customer satisfaction, to mention a few.
There were indications that terrible times were ahead. Only a matter of time would pass until the unexpected occurred. But nobody anticipated it to happen so quickly. Russakow informed the public that Boosted “would continue to investigate potential alternatives under new ownership” in a brief statement on the company website.
In addition, the real reason Boosted failed was right there, hidden between the lines. It says, “Unfortunately, creating, manufacturing, and servicing electric vehicles is exceedingly capital-intensive.”
One of their biggest flaws was the waste of money on the scooter’s development. When forced to choose, they chose the scooter option since they weren’t able to divide funds between the two properly.
We might have had a different scenario if they had concentrated on the boards. Thus staying with their tried-and-true offering, the one that initially put them in this situation. They may have been able to push the upgraded board further, but we will never know.