California-based mobility startup Lime, announced that it has raised $523M (approx €452.7M) in a mix of convertible debt and debt financing to build a future where transportation is shared, affordable and carbon-free.
The news follows the company’s recent introduction of a new monthly membership subscription called “Lime Prime,” now available in Lime markets worldwide. With this development, the company says it will reward its frequent membership riders.
Investors in this round
The San Francisco-based company says the current round was led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Fidelity Management & Research, Uber, and certain funds managed by Highbridge Capital Management.
Lime to go public next year
Speaking on the development, Lime CEO, Wayne Ting says, “This oversubscribed round is a testament to the strong business we’ve built and the overwhelming confidence we’ve received from the financial community.”
Ting also mentioned that the current round secures the path to take Lime public in 2022. It will also allow the company to double down on the newest generation of e-bikes and e-scooters, as well as additional modes, to ensure people have reliable access to affordable, shared, carbon-free transportation.
Ting told TechCrunch, “Companies typically do a convertible note as the last round before they go IPO and investors are betting that the company is going public, and they want to get in on the round early because they get to come in at a discount. And we certainly think the fact that you know, over $400M of investment coming in is a real great milestone as we look towards taking Lime public next year.”
The proceeds from this debt round will help Lime to bring its Gen4 electric bikes and scooters to more cities globally as well as extend access to more communities that are in need of sustainable transportation options.
A part of the funding will also be used to pursue innovation to further decarbonise the company’s supply chain, and to ensure it always puts sustainable hardware on the road to help decarbonise transportation in cities more broadly.
Lime’s 2030 net zero goal
In a statement, Lime also announced that it will set aside $20M from the current round for its 2030 net zero goal by advancing sustainable hardware initiatives and developing a low carbon supply chain. The company aims to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Accord to keep global temperatures to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Speaking about Lime, Greg Najarian of UBS O’Connor, says, “Micromobility continues to have an expanding role in cities, as regulators increasingly look for ways to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Lime has won prized permits in major US and European cities, and we are thrilled to be supporting the largest operator in the space.”
Last week, Wayne Ting announced in a blog post about the approval of the company-wide carbon target to be net zero by 2030 by the Science Based Targets Initiative – it is a collaboration of the Carbon Disclosure Project, United Nations Global Compact, WWF, and World Resources Institute.
To achieve these carbon goals, the company says it will reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions 50 per cent by 2030. For its Scope 3 emissions, Lime will ensure that 80 per cent of the supply chain by emissions set their own carbon targets. And, for other components of Scope 3 emissions, such as transportation and distribution, the company will reduce the climate intensity per-passenger-kilometer it provides by 82 per cent.
The target is independently validated and will be tracked annually by the Science Based Targets Initiative.
The company was founded by Brad Bao and Toby Sun, and is currently led by CEO Wayne Ting. It aims to provide a sustainable solution to the first and last-mile transportation problem by helping people move around their cities in an affordable and convenient way while eliminating their carbon footprint.
The company partners with cities to deploy electric bikes and scooters enabled with GPS and self-activating locks. In Europe, it serves more than 80 cities, including Paris, Berlin, London, Rome, or Budapest.
In 2021, the company’s riders surpassed 250 million rides – a micromobility record – making Lime to extend its total rides served well beyond other micromobility providers. Currently, it has a fleet of over 200,000 vehicles, the largest global fleet in the industry.