The European e-scooter market is currently the main battleground for companies playing in the micromobility space, taking advantage of being relatively compact cities of Europe and the willingness of populations to move towards more sustainable transport. In 2021, players like Tier, Voi, and Dott continued to increase support for VC.
But the war for funding is ultimately about who is going to win in this coveted market – either by dominating the market by raising the most capital, by putting pressure on competitors or by acquiring said competitors.
So the final chapter in this saga is about to unfold, with the 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 round of financing that the company says will fuel its expansion into new markets. Voi already has scooters in 70 cities in the UK and Europe. This round comes after raising $ 45 million just in August of this year. Total capital raised in 2021 stands at $ 160 million, and $ 500 million since the launch of Voi.
In addition to its expansion, this increase also relates to a future IPO. A spokesperson said, âFollowing this fundraiser, Voi will start preparing for an IPO. Voi will begin preparations but the schedule cannot be frozen at this point. “
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said in a statement: âThere is no doubt that micromobility is here to stay and Voi intends to be the go-to mobility platform in Europe for cities that want to offer their residents and visitors an integrated and smart way to travel. In close collaboration with the cities, we are seeing the emergence of a new vision of urban transport, very complementary to public transport. We’re building the future of transportation and we’re committed to making every Voi city a better place to live.
As cities begin to adopt regulations and grant licenses, micromobility operators are expanding by obtaining approvals from municipal authorities, thus ensuring their access to consumers. Part of this war chest therefore consists of being able to evolve to meet these licenses.
The spokesperson added, âThe demand for micromobility has never been higher and therefore we want to make sure that we are providing the service that people need. With this funding, we will invest in solutions for our rides and cities, including repairing the parking lot, sidewalk driving and dual driving, deploying a better electric scooter model and investing in R&D. .
The round was led by Raine Group and VNV Global (which led the last round of funding), and included Inbox Capital, Nordic Ninja, Stena Sessan, Kreos Capital and new investors Ilmarinen, Nineyards Equity and ICT Capital and others . Entrepreneurs and operators from King, Avito, BCG and many others also participated.
Voi claims to have achieved 140% revenue growth in 2021, while increasing margins and profitability. Voi has also won numerous municipal tenders this year, putting pressure on competitors.
Of course, microbilitlity companies are pushing for an open door as well, taking advantage of the news trend among cities to reduce reliance on private cars, relieve traffic jams, reduce carbon emissions and reduce pollution, as well as individual desire. to avoid crowds on the audience. transport due to COVID-19.
Voi also plans to launch the “Voiager 5”, which it says will be the safest electric scooter model to date. His arrival will be timely.
The potential for fires set off by electric scooter batteries was recently highlighted in the UK when Vio was forced to remove part of its fleet from rental after one of its machines started to burn in the home of a user.
Commenting, Jack Samler, Managing Director of Voi UK, told TechCrunch: âWe had an example of smoke emitted from one of our long-term rental electric scooters in Bristol earlier this month. This was an isolated, one-time incident with one of our long-term rental scooters. As an extreme precaution, we asked users to keep the scooters outside while we assessed the situation – all users were reimbursed for the inconvenience caused in December.
He said that the service was only temporarily interrupted due to this smoking scooter, but following an investigation, the service quickly resumed: Rental service to travel sustainably very soon.
Assuming all of these batteries become safer, Voi also commits to using only battery cells produced in Europe, with a 50% reduced carbon footprint since they would not be imported from China, from here at the start of 2023. She is already getting her electric bicycles from Europe.
Jason Schretter, Partner and Head of EMEA at Raine Group, said: âWe are delighted to continue to support Voi in its efforts to bring safe and sustainable micromobility solutions to European markets. Since we first invested a year ago, Voi’s commitment to product innovation, operational efficiency and local partnerships have helped the company expand its leadership position in the region.
Per Brilioth, CEO of VNV Global, said: âWe are reaching a tipping point with micromobility where cities, led by their people, realize the full potential of this new mode of transport. “
Meanwhile, the European electric scooter race continues at a steady pace. Tier, a Berlin-based electric scooter company that is growing rapidly across Europe, recently acquired Vento Mobility, the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility.
But scooter companies continue to fight against the bad publicity of accidents and gruesome accidents that are currently tarnishing the image of this admittedly hot sector.