Dott picks up pace with $70m raise to expand e-scooter service

1 Feb 2022

Dott e-scooter in Dublin. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

The Amsterdam-based start-up is planning to expand in new cities and countries, and has its eyes set on Irish roads.

Dutch e-scooter company Dott has just added $70m to its Series B funding round. Following a €70m raise in April 2021, it brings the total raised in this round to more than $150m.

The Series B extension was a mix of equity and asset-backed debt jointly led by new investor Edinburgh-based Abrdn and Belgian investment company Sofina, which co-led last year’s funding. Existing investors EQT Ventures and Prosus Ventures also chipped in.

Headquartered in Amsterdam, Dott was founded in 2018 and has become one of Europe’s biggest players in the micromobility space.

It now has operations in 36 cities across nine countries in Europe and has recently added 10,000 e-bikes to its fleet of more than 40,000 e-scooters. In 2021, Dott riders took 130pc more trips than in 2020.

Dott is one of several micromobility players that has its eyes on the Irish market pending the passing of legislation. The company said it will use the latest funding to invest in its e-bike roll-out, as well as product development and expansion across more cities and countries.

Henri Moissinac, co-founder and chief executive of Dott, called the company’s decision to launch e-bikes “a significant milestone” because the mode of transport “is more familiar to many people and broadens the appeal of our service”.

“Starting 2022 with additional funding will propel our growth and allow us to offer environmentally friendly travel to more people,” he said.

‘Positioned to be a leader’

Dott’s e-scooter fleet is currently spread across major cities in Belgium, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and the UK. It has won micromobility tenders in two of Europe’s biggest cities, Paris and London, and employs more than 500 people in these two locations and Amsterdam.

The company has been eager for an Irish launch for some time, holding local consultations in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Galway. It also established an Irish Safety Advisory Board to improve its e-scooter services for visually impaired road users.

But there are several other competitors also eyeing a share of the Irish market. A number of companies have already announced plans to launch e-scooter fleets as soon as legislation is passed in Ireland, including BoltBleeperZipp MobilityFree Now and Bird.

Alistair Watson of new investor Abrdn said the private equity company is seeking “the most sustainable investment opportunities globally”.

“We felt that Dott is well positioned to be a leader in the category, offering a high quality product that has been recognised with significant growth in 2021, alongside a responsible business model which takes a rigorous approach to minimising its carbon footprint.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic