The electric kick-scooter sharing company Voi Technology has completed its Series C financing round. The Swedish mobility company was able to raise $160 million to accelerate the company’s expansion.
Voi Technology says that the capital raised is the equivalent of around 133 million euros and will be used in Germany to build parking stations for e-scooters and to invest in safety and user comfort. To this end, the company intends to continue working on its parking station model, which was first tested in Stuttgart in the summer.
In addition, a new model of the e-scooter called Voiager 4 is going into development. Among other things, the model should feature high-quality brakes, while signalling and suspension should be more durable. With the rapidly changing micromobility environment Voi will further adapt and develop hardware and software, riders should be able to benefit from helmet technology, better lights, improved location accuracy.
The round is led by US investor Raine Growth, and according to Voi, the new financing “has secured the industry’s first asset-backed debt facility at scale, which will be directed towards scooters and e-bikes in 2021.” Existing investors VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum Project A and Nordic Ninja who are also expected to participate in the C financing round. Other investors include the shipping company Stena Sessan, Amazon and the founders behind Delivery Hero and Klarna.
Jason Schretter, Partner at Raine Growth said: “Our investment came after seeing the great success of Voi. They have had the largest license market share in Europe to date and a significantly higher capital efficiency than any other operator”. Indeed this was clear in summer this year when the Swedish company turned a profit, as the first scooter-sharing company globally, and cooly raised 30 million dollars to fund expansion into new markets which the company promptly did.
There is no doubt the Swedish micromobility company has been doing rather well while others were flailing even before the global pandemic. Electric scooters, (or kick-scooters as we sometimes call them to differentiate between these and electric moped-type scooters), are not only an emerging market, they are changing the way we consider public space and the vehicles in them. Initially, many city legislators were horrified at the scenes of chaos that broke over European streets as these new scooters whirred their ways around the cities, being left anywhere and everywhere, being thrown into the Seine, being fished out again and reused, being banned, being selected and most importantly of all, being adequately placed and restricted so as not to inconvenience other people in public spaces.
Voi appears to have been very flexible and adaptive in responding to both user’s needs as well as responding to city legislators tasked with keeping city streets safe.
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, said: “We are very happy to welcome Raine’s growth equity fund to the Voi family. They are the strong partners we were looking for and impressed us through their deep knowledge of the industry, through their years of work across the global mobility sector and recent deep dive on the evolving competitive landscape in Europe. We and our city partners fully intend to achieve our target of Vision Zero – e-scooters that generate zero-carbon, zero accidents and zero reasons not to embrace the future of transport.”
Hjelm says that Voi has achieved more riders per active scooter than ever before through a combination of advanced e-scooter technology, increased rider adoption and better operational practices. The Swedish company has cleverly introduced swappable batteries and says they are integrating more sustainable fleet management infrastructure as well as switching to renewable energy to power their operations wherever possible.
Jason Schretter, Partner and Head of EMEA at The Raine Group, said: “Consumers and local governments across Europe are recognizing a unique window of opportunity to leverage the recent period of transportation disruption to radically change and improve city mobility. Three years of evolution have taken place in just six months, and we are fully confident that we are only in the beginning of this trend.” Schretter sees that Voi clearly understands that the next generation of micro-mobility will require operators and local governments to work together.