Rotterdam-based Check, an online application that offers electric scooters to its customers, announced on Wednesday that it has raised €10M in a growth round of funding. The investment was led by venture capital firm Slingshot Ventures with participation from Ponooc.
Tom Kist, managing partner of Slingshot Ventures, says, “We have been in the market looking for a micro-mobility investment for quite some time now. The short period of time in which Check managed to become a leading player in the Dutch market, with an emphasis on operational excellence and a strong brand, convinced us to join forces. This capital injection, given by us and Ponooc, will allow Check to pursue its international expansion strategy.”
Funds for data-driven growth
Check claims that the raised capital will help accelerate the development of its self-built technology platform, which serves multiple municipalities and over 300,000 users on a daily basis. Additionally, the company will also use the funds to expand its services nationally and internationally.
Paul van Merrienboer, co-founder of Check, says, “Research shows that our users make a significant contribution to countering the unnecessary use and ownership of cars in cities. With Slingshot Ventures, we team up with powerful entrepreneurs with a digital focus. I am confident that together we can maximise our impact on cities, both national and international.”
In terms of accelerated growth, the company will first strengthen its proposition for both municipalities and users. The aim is to guide municipalities towards an efficient mobility mix, thereby contributing to their sustainability goals.
Secondly, Check will speed up its national and international growth and strengthen its position in existing markets. And lastly, new technological features will be added to the platform and the company is looking to hire talent in the fields of data engineering and product and software development.
“Contributing to more liveable cities”
Founded by Thijn van Helvoirt and Paul van Merrienboer, Check is on a mission to make cities more liveable. It offers a mobile app through which users can reserve and use shared e-mopeds on a per minute basis. Check believes that shared e-mopeds are a proven and effective substitute for cars and contribute to less air and noise pollution, and cause less congestion in cities.
According to Check’s website, it wants everyone in any city to be able to get to their destination within 15 minutes. The company says it distinguishes itself with its focus on data-driven growth, its technology platform, and tailors the needs of both municipalities and its inhabitants.
On February 4, 2020, Check launched with 160 shared e-mopeds in Rotterdam. Despite the pandemic, the company claims to have managed to grow rapidly and efficiently. In 2021, its fleet increased by 300 per cent and its revenues by almost 700 per cent. It became profitable on a group level in its second operational year.
Currently, the app offers more than 3,000 e-mopeds in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, the Hague, Breda, Groningen, Leeuwarden, and Düsseldorf.
About the investors
Slingshot Ventures claims to invest in the future of the digital consumer and has previously invested in brands such as Boldking, Stox and VanMoof.
Ponooc is a €140M, Amsterdam-based venture capital fund with a focus on sustainable energy or mobility-related ventures. The firm has invested in companies such as Swapfiets, Tranzer, Yego, Check, and Bikemap. It has also invested in Check from the very beginning.
Friso Bensdorp, director at Ponooc, adds, “Check has proven its ability to become and remain profitable by focusing on its own technology platform, data and operational excellence. We welcome Slingshot Ventures on board as co-shareholder, with its valuable experience in the field of consumer-tech companies.”