The European micro-mobility sector took a major hit due to the pandemic. According to a report, the sector was hit just as the industry was accelerating along a growth trajectory. “In 2019, a banner year, our models predicted that the micro-mobility industry would be a $300B to $500B (€253.5B to €422.5B) market by 2030.” The report also predicts that the industry might “make a strong post-pandemic recovery.”
Swedish e-scooter company raises €132.8M
As a potential indicator of the sector’s post-pandemic recovery, Voi Technology, a Swedish micro-mobility startup looks to cement its position within Europe’s rapidly evolving micro-mobility transportation sector and has raised $160M (approx €132.8M) in its Series C round of funding.
This round takes Voi’s total funding, over the last four months, to $190M, including the $30M announced in July and completed in September.
Investors in the current round
The round was led by The Raine Group. Also, existing investors, including VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, Inbox, and Stena Sessan, also participated in this round.
In addition, top entrepreneurs and executives from Delivery Hero, Klarna, iZettle, Zillow, Kry/Livi, and Amazon also invested in the current round.
With this funding, Voi also secured the industry’s first, scaled asset-backed debt facility, which will be used to finance scooter and e-bike investment in 2021.
How will Voi use the capital?
The raised funds will be used to invest in technology platform development, fuel growth in current Voi markets and bring Voi’s latest e-scooter model – Voiager 4 – to more cities across its network.
Additionally, Voi will use funds to enhance the safety infrastructure of its platform further and helping ensure users get to their destinations safely. Voi claims that safety enhancements are the company’s number one priority.
These safety infrastructures include; developments of hardware and software of Voi’s product, riders benefit from helmet technology, better lights, improved location accuracy, high-quality brakes, signalling, and suspension.
Speaking on the development, Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder, and CEO of Voi says, “Through a combination of advanced e-scooter technology, increased rider adoption, and better operational practices, Voi is generating significantly more rides per active scooter than ever before. Meanwhile, by introducing swappable batteries, integrating more sustainable fleet management infrastructure, and switching to renewable energy to power our operations wherever possible, we have reduced the already minimal environmental impact of e-scooters even further.”
“This funding will help us continue to offer an efficient and sustainable e-scooter service while providing people with the mobility they can rely on,” adds Hjelm.
About Voi Technology
The company was founded in 2018 by Adam Jafer, Douglas Stark, Fredrik Hjelm, and Keith Richman. Voi is a micro-mobility startup offering e-scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities.
The company believes “e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in cities in the future. And we want to make sure that the transformation happens the right way – through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and Governments, and by adapting our products to local needs.”
Voi has been a carbon-neutral company since January 2020 and has adopted the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a guiding framework and has set a clear agenda for reducing and offsetting emissions.
Last month in November, Dublin-based micro-mobility startup Luna and Voi partnered up with a goal to improve e-scooter safety by tackling two key issues – pavement riding and pedestrian detection.
Prior to that in September, Voi gained an exclusive contract to launch its mobility service to the West Midlands in the UK. As per the contract, it will work hand-in-hand with Transport for West Midlands and come up with an exciting way to reach 5.9 million residents in the region. The trial will cover the largest European market awarded by tender to a single operator.
In August, Voi Technology had launched its services in the UK market after being selected to run an exclusive e-scooter trial across Northampton and Kettering by Northamptonshire County Council. In the same month, the company had also unveiled its fourth-generation e-scooter ‘Voiager 4’ featuring indicators, proprietary IoT hardware which, in combination with GPS tech, AI technology, NFC reader, and much more.
Prior to that, in November 2019, the e-scooter operator raised $85M (approx €77M) in its Series B round of funding led by Vostok New Ventures. The round also saw participation from Balderton Capital, Creandum, Project A, JME Ventures, Raine Ventures, Kreos Capital, Inbox Capital, Rider Global, and Black Ice Capital, among others. With the funding, the startup focused on unit economics, sustainability, and profitability alongside increased R&D to improve its technology platform and the launch of the next generation of vehicles.
Richard Corbett, regional GM of UK, Ireland, and Benelux for Voi, says, “Over recent months, the company has successfully won 16 city licenses, including the world’s largest exclusive operating license in the West Midlands. Since our first launch in September, we’ve grown to six cities across the UK and delivered close to 250,000 safe rides with a combined total distance of 300,000 miles travelled, replacing on average 14% of the car trips.
He further adds, “Our current active markets include Northampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bath, and Bristol, where we have seen usage levels in these markets far exceed anything across Europe. We aim to reach 4,000 vehicles by the end of the year. Our ‘Voi 4 Heroes’ pass, offering NHS workers free rides throughout the lockdown, had over 1,000 sign-ups to the programme in its first week.”
Image credit: Vio Technology