Venture Capital: Voi, Swedish Maker Of E-Scooters, Closes On $160M Funding

December 2, 2020 | News, Venture Capital
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The raise follows on the heels of rival Tier’s funding of $250 million less than a month ago.

Voi Technology’s haul of $160 million is a mix of debt and equity in a Series C round led by The Raine Group, with participation by existing investors such as VNV Global, Balderton, and Creandum. Top entrepreneurs and executives from Amazon, Delivery Hero, iZettle, Klarna, Kry/Livi, Nordic Ninja, and Zillow also participated in this latest funding round.

Voi’s German rival Tier recently raised $250 million in a round led by Softbank’s Vision Fund, the FT said.

Investors are again pouring in money into e-scooter startups after the pandemic raised questions about the safety of traveling in public transport. As a result, demand for alternative transportation such as scooters has rebounded.

In one indicator of the change in market preferences, Estonia’s ride-hailing service Bolt committed last month to invest a further €100m into scooters.

Europe winning more investments

And European scooter startups are apparently proving more popular with global investors compared to their American counterparts.

One reason is that scooter startups in Europe have become more lean and efficient, developing technologically superior models (for example, with swappable batteries) that have led to profitability sooner.

Another reason: E-scooter rentals are more popular in Europe than in America because of higher urban density and a cultural preference for the vehicles.

Meanwhile, governments too are encouraging the use of more environment-friendly and safe e-scooters to curb the spread of the virus as winter takes hold.

These factors have combined to push more investments in the direction of European scooter startups rather than their rivals across the pond.

Voi winning more licenses

Voi recently won tenders for 16 cities in the U.K.

“With major new markets, including the U.K. opening up to e-scooter mobility solutions, Voi has become Europe’s preferred operator, winning over 2/3 of city license tenders across Europe, including recent wins in Birmingham, Liverpool, Bern, and Cambridge,” Voi told Tech Crunch.

Voi also plans to be the first European company to apply for a license in New York City.

Asset-backed facility

Voi is also the first micro-mobility company to secure the current funding in the form of a scaled asset-backed debt facility.

The facility comprises about a third of the funding.

Related Story:  Uber Leads $170M Funding Round No 8 in Lime Electric Scooters

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