E-scooter startup Voi raises $85 million in Series B funding round

E-scooter startup Voi raises $85 million in Series B funding round
Finance

Swedish e-scooter startup Voi has raised $85 million in a Series B funding round, to expand their e-scooter and e-bike network in Europe, according to TechCrunch.

First launched in 2018, the company provides services in 38 cities in ten European countries, offering e-scooter and e-bike sharing. They say they have 4 million registered users and have provided 14 million rides. Voi has now raised a total of $136 million in funding, with the recent round led by Vostok New Ventures, alongside other investors such as Balderton Capital, JME Ventures, Kreos Capital, Project A, and Raine Ventures.

According to Bloomberg, the successful funding round demonstrates the sustained confidence investors have shown in e-scooter sharing platforms in Europe. In October, the German scooter startup Tier Mobility drew $60 million in a funding round. 

Many analysts suggest that micro-mobility sharing companies are unsustainable due to expenses, with too much reliance on venture capital funding. Voi is aiming to refute those skeptics, and says it’s already become profitable in many of the cities where it operates, including Oslo and Stockholm. 

“We are on track to achieve this in more of our cities, and that is our aim. At this point, a key focus for us is to ensure we continue to increase the lifetime of our e-scooters, forge key partnerships, and continue to work in those cities which provide the best conditions for a profitable e-scooter business,” CEO Fredrik Hjelm told VentureBeat. “Key to achieving strong business unit economics is how long our e-scooters last. The new V2 ones should last longer than 18 months, which means that we should be profitable before any future raises.”

Longer hardware lifespan means more rides for each vehicle, improving margins. Hjelm said the company could achieve global profitability by 2021 or 2022. 

The company is also working to improve its repair management using “predictive diagnostics,” developing “AI-powered” fleet management systems, and expanding the platform to support additional modes of transport beyond scooters and bikes. 

The new funding also comes as winter approaches, bringing temperatures and road conditions that will limit the appeal of scooters. The new investment could help the company withstand the seasonal period of lower margins.  

Bloomberg reported in February that Voi and Tier had discussed the possibility of a merger, but opted to remain independent instead. 

Photo by Sebleouf [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

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