E-scooter start-up Voi raises $85m with eyes on Irish market

11 Nov 2019

Image: © rcfotostock/Stock.adobe.com

Since its launch in September last year, Swedish e-scooter start-up Voi has raised $135m.

One of the e-scooter companies looking to enter the Irish market, should the Government give them the legal green light, has just received significant financial backing. Operated from Sweden, newcomer Voi has raised $85m in Series B funding.

This takes the company’s total fundraising to $135m since it launched in September of last year, and it now has 4m users in 38 cities across Europe. The round was led by Vostok New Ventures with participation from Balderton Capital, Creandum, Project A, JME Ventures, Raine Ventures, Kreos Capital, Inbox Capital, Rider Global and Black Ice Capital, among others.

The start-up said it plans to use the funding for greater R&D investment in its own technology platform and future vehicles including both e-scooters and e-bikes. It will also accelerate its expansion to “further monetise and strengthen its business operations”.

“There’s been a huge demand for Voi’s e-scooters from residents across Europe in the last 12 months, but making a landmark change to transport in Europe takes more than simply flooding cities with thousands of scooters,” said Fredrik Hjelm, CEO and co-founder of Voi.

“We are developing a long-term business that gives people a new way of moving around cities that’s clean, fast, convenient and also fun. We have seen the strongest unit economics of all of our peers and will continue to optimise and invest in that.”

Changing regulation in Europe

Per Brilioth, CEO of Vostock New Ventures, added: “Voi is only at the start of developing micro-mobility based on Swedish values right across Europe.

“In Germany, in particular, there is a huge market to go for. We are excited that this additional funding will enable the company to introduce a new generation of e-scooters that are clean, good-looking and safe, enabling people to get around the cities they love quickly and easily.”

While proposals are underway in Ireland in terms of what the legalisation of e-scooters might look like, in countries across Europe where they are already legal, new laws are being written in response to the surge in e-scooter sharing companies.

In Paris, the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, is introducing a new speed limit of 25kph for e-scooters and restricting use to cycle lanes starting in January next year. The city will also limit the number of companies providing the vehicles to three with a combined fleet of 15,000.

A spokesperson for Voi gave an update to Siliconrepublic.com about its efforts to break into the Irish market.

“Voi has been sharing insights on our operations with Irish transport officials and talking to them about how e-scooter regulation in Ireland might work. We will continue to talk to the [Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport] and we look forward to launching operations in Ireland once regulation is in place.”

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic