Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

The European e-scooter market is currently the main battleground for micro-mobility companies, taking advantage of Europe’s relatively compact cities and the population’s desire to move towards more sustainable transport. In 2021, players like Tier, Voi and Dott continued to increase VC support.

But the battle for funding is ultimately about who will win in this coveted market – whether through market dominance by raising the most capital, putting pressure on competitors, or taking over said competitors.

Thus, the latest chapter in this saga is about to unfold, with news that Voi Technology – a major European micromobility operator – has raised a $115 million Series D funding round in what it describes as an oversubscribed funding round that, it says the company, will drive its expansion into new markets. Voi already has scooters in 70 cities in the UK and Europe. This round comes after it raised $45 million in August this year. Total capital raised in 2021 is $160 million and $500 million since the launch of Voi.

In addition to expansion, this increase also concerns a future IPO. A spokesperson said: “After this fundraiser, Voi will start preparing for an IPO. Voi will begin preparations, but the timetable cannot be set in stone at this stage.”

Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said in a statement: “There is no doubt that micromobility is here to stay and that Voi aims to be the go-to mobility platform in Europe for cities that offer their residents and visitors an integrated, smart way of travel. Working closely with cities, we are seeing a new vision of urban transport taking shape that is highly complementary to public transport. We are building the future of transport and we are determined to make every Voi city a better place make to live.”

As cities begin to adopt regulations and licenses, the way micromobility operators are scaling up is by getting approval from city officials, securing their access to consumers. So this war chest is partly about being able to scale to meet those licenses.

The spokesperson added: “The demand for micromobility has never been greater and that is why we want to make sure we deliver the service people need. With this funding, we will invest in solutions for our attractions and cities, including repairing parking lots, paving and twin riding, rolling out a better model of e-scooter and investing in R&D.”

The round was led by Raine Group and VNV Global (which led the latest funding round), and included Inbox Capital, Nordic Ninja, Stena Sessan, Kreos Capital and new investors Ilmarinen, Nineyards Equity and ICT Capital among others. Entrepreneurs and operators from King, Avito, BCG and more also participated.

Voi claims it delivered 140% year-over-year revenue growth in 2021, while increasing margins and profitability. Voi also won many city tenders this year, putting pressure on competition.

Of course, micro-skills companies are pushing an open door as well, taking advantage of the news trend in cities to reduce reliance on private cars, reduce congestion, reduce CO2 emissions and reduce pollution, as well as the individual desire to avoid crowds on public roads. transportation due to COVID-19.

Voi also plans to launch the “Voiager 5”, which it claims will be the safest e-scooter model to date. His coming will be timely.

The potential for fires caused by e-scooter battery packs was highlighted in the UK recently when Vio was forced to take part of its fleet out of rental after one of its machines started burning in a user’s home.

Jack Samler, general manager at Voi UK, told BestFitnessBands: “Earlier this month we had a case of smoke being emitted from one of our long-term rental e-scooters in Bristol. This was an isolated, one-off incident involving one of our long-term rental scooters. As a precautionary measure, we have asked users to keep the scooters out while we assessed the situation – all users have been refunded for the inconvenience for the month of December.”

He said the service was only temporarily suspended as a result of this smoking scooter, but after an investigation, the service was quickly resumed: “The vast majority of users are already using the service again and we expect all riders will continue to enjoy our long term Rental service to move sustainably soon.”

Assuming all those batteries become safer, Voi also commits to using only battery cells produced in Europe, resulting in a 50% lower carbon footprint, as they would not be imported from China by early 2023. Europe.

Jason Schretter, Partner and Head of EMEA at Raine Group, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of Voi in its efforts to bring safe and sustainable micromobility solutions to markets across Europe. Since we first invested a year ago , Voi’s commitment to product innovation, operational efficiency and local partnerships has helped the company expand its leadership position in the region.”

Per Brilioth, CEO of VNV Global said: “We are reaching a tipping point with micro-mobility where cities, led by their residents, are waking up to the full potential of this new mode of transport.”

Meanwhile, the European e-scooter race continues. Tier, a Berlin-based e-scooter company that is rapidly expanding across Europe, recently acquired Vento Mobility, the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility.

But scooter companies continue to fight bad publicity from the horrific accidents and crashes that are currently tarnishing the image of this albeit hot industry.

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