Tier wheels in to take over Belfast Bikes scheme after acquisition

16 Nov 2021

Nextbike’s Leonhard von Harrach and Tier’s Lawrence Leuschner. Image: Tier

European micromobility start-up Tier will operate Belfast’s public bike scheme following its acquisition of Nextbike.

Berlin-based micromobility operator Tier has acquired a 100pc stake in Leipzig-based Nextbike, the company that runs public bike schemes in Belfast and other cities around the world. Financial terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

The deal will see Tier run the Belfast Bikes scheme, which was set up in 2015 and operated by Nextbike with 45 bike stations around the city.

Tier is one of many micromobility start-ups looking to launch e-scooter services in the Republic of Ireland. With the Government finally expected to legalise e-scooters on Irish roads, Tier and competitors including Zipp, Dott, Bolt, Zeus, Bleeper and Voi are eyeing the market.

Tier already has a presence in 16 countries in Europe and the Middle East with recent market entries in Hungary, the Netherlands and Bahrain. As well as e-scooters, it has invested heavily in e-bikes in recent months, with launches in London and Stockholm as part of the expansion of its e-bike service across six countries.

In October, the start-up announced the closing of its $200m Series D funding round to expand its business further.

With Tier’s acquisition of Nextbike, the two will serve 400 cities with 250,000 vehicles, creating a platform that covers bikes, e-bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds.

Nextbike, which was founded in 2004, has a presence in 28 countries and 300 cities. As well as Belfast, it has bike rental systems in European cities including Budapest, Bilbao, Vienna and Gothenburg.

“The acquisition of Nextbike – with its unrivalled experience and relationships across hundreds of cities – is a unique opportunity to take bike-share to the next level, getting more people out of cars and offering the most sustainable mobility solution,” said Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of Tier.

Leonhard von Harrach, CEO of Nextbike, added that his company and Tier “are united” in their “mission to make cities more liveable” tackling traffic congestion, pollution and noise.

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Blathnaid O’Dea was a Careers reporter at Silicon Republic until 2024.