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Meet Nick Drombosky of Leef in Koreatown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nick Drombosky.

Nick, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve spent the past decade of my life in the bicycle industry. I started in volunteering for organizations that focused on human-centered transportation–pushing for environments that put priority on how people get around cities, not just how people drive and park cars.

This work made me realize that many trips we take can be done without a car and I left my job as COO of a small multi-store automotive retailer, to start a company that made products to make riding bicycles safer at night. That pushed me into bicycle retail and led me to open stores in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles.

All of that experience has culminated into founding Leef with Lawrence Ham and Jay Tsao to make personal electric mobility easier for everyone.

Has it been a smooth road?
Business is always tough and today markets change faster than ever because of how connected we have become. Consumer preference changes fast now and it only takes a handful of voices online to create massive tides in peoples desires and interests.

Currently, our biggest challenge is navigating the volatile and international business environment with trade disputes and policy changes. The bicycle industry, including electric scooters, was hit with new 25% tariffs last year and again earlier this year that drastically shifted how the supply chain worked in order to absorb increased costs as much as possible to avoid passing them onto consumers.

Challenges like this are particularly tough to deal with because there usually isn’t a lot of precedence or examples to look at–you just have to try to figure out it.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Leef – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Leef is bringing personal electric transportation to the widest market possible by offering a worry-free electric scooter subscription service to all lower 48 states. Much like the scooters many of us are used to seeing from Bird and Lime, Leef operates on a monthly basis for a much better price of $29 a month, versus the average scooter share user paying 4-5 times that if they use it daily.

Our users get their own scooter delivered to them along with a charger that simply plugs into the wall. They store it in their home, office, or the trunk of their car and they know it’s always available to them, where they are, to take wherever they need to go. They know the history, they know it’s safe, and know it’s charged–no more inconvenient surprises like walking a few blocks to find the scooter you were expecting is broken, dead, or even grosser conditions that we’ve all seen.

Among the obvious things like a low barrier to entry with an affordable price, included maintenance and repairs, and free upgrades when the newest model comes out, we also have a few other things that make us unique. For instance, all of our scooters come from reputable factories that we visit and monitor and then once they arrive in LA, every unit is calibrated and goes through a 60-point inspection before it goes out to the user.

As we have seen with a lot of other people in this space, who are just taking off-the-shelf scooters they buy blindly online, it’s important to have strong quality control processes in place to ensure the user’s safety.

The other big thing is we aren’t invading in public space, we aren’t regulated, and we don’t run up against communities. We take the burdens of ownership away from the users without placing burden on their neighbors.

Even if you buy a scooter yourself, you still have an issue of what to do with it when something goes wrong. Most bike shops won’t touch them, and most people don’t have the tools or knowledge to deal with the common issues that may arise.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Hands down, the best part about LA is the diversity. In every sense–racial, cultural, and even economic and geographic, Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world. This diversity breeds innovation and creates a very unique environment that I think makes LA one of the greatest cities in the world.

The universal downside to LA is how hard it can be to get around. Even driving a mile away in some places at the wrong time can take 30 minutes+ in a car. This not only is a pain, but it has serious cost to society. From pollution to health impacts, to simply the lost of productivity, this kind of congestion isn’t sustainable for LA to continue to thrive for decades to come.

Pricing:

  • $29/month
  • Free Repairs
  • Free Upgrades

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kevin Kim – @kevinvukim

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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