Bleeper raises €600,000 to expand bike fleet and launch e-scooters

13 Jan 2021406 Views

Bike lane in Dublin. Image: © kevers/Stock.adobe.com

The start-up is expanding its fleet in Dublin but its e-scooter plans will depend on a new transport bill being passed into law.

Bleeper has raised nearly €600,000 to add more bikes to its sharing fleet and it is plotting the roll-out of e-scooters.

The company, formerly known as Bleeperbike, operates a dockless bike-sharing service in Dublin. It has a licence to deploy up to 1,000 bikes and currently has 800 bikes on the streets.

It has been planning to launch electric bikes in its fleet for some time but has experienced delays. Last summer, rival Moby launched its e-bike sharing scheme in the city.

The Irish Times reports that the latest tranche of funds comes from the Davy EIIS fund, bringing Bleeper’s total amount of funding to €1.3m. Other investors in the company include Business Venture Partners, Bartra Capital and Enterprise Ireland.

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Bleeper is planning to add e-scooters to its fleet but that depends on a legislative change in Ireland to allow e-scooter sharing services. Founder Hugh Cooney told the Irish Times that Bleeper will roll out e-bikes shortly, but will focus on e-scooters over e-bikes once the legislation allows for it.

Last summer, Bleeper and several other companies including Free Now and Lime wrote to Micheál Martin, urging him to put e-scooters on the transport agenda in the new government. Dublin Bus has expressed an interest in the vehicles as well.

Other players in the European e-scooter scene such as Bolt and Voi have said they are keen to launch services in Ireland, which remains one of the last major markets in Europe that hasn’t legislated for e-scooters.

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan, TD, said late last year that laws to regulate e-scooters were coming up shortly. In November, he said such a law could be passed by the end of the year but this did not come to fruition. The law, the Road Traffic (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, is expected to come before the Dáil soon.

Jonathan Keane is a freelance business and technology journalist based in Dublin

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