Zeus steers focus to the UK with e-scooter company acquisition

29 Aug 2022

Damian Young. Image: Zeus

Irish start-up Zeus will initially launch its two-wheeled e-scooter model in the UK, and its three-wheeled one when legislation is approved.

Irish micromobility start-up Zeus Scooters has acquired UK-based scooter-sharing company Zwings in a cash-plus-equity deal.

Zwings provides e-scooter and e-bike rental options for nearly 80,000 customers across towns, cities and universities in the UK, and has 15 employees.

This marks the first acquisition for Zeus, which was founded in 2019 by CEO and former banker Damian Young.

After debuting its e-scooter sharing service in Germany in 2020, Zeus rapidly expanded across other European markets and now operates in 42 cities across six countries.

The Carlow-headquartered company’s fleet of more than 5,000 three-wheeled e-scooters are used in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Croatia, Italy and Malaysia.

“We are delighted to be entering the UK market as our nearest neighbour and we hope to further enhance the positive impact that Zwings has made in the UK market,” said Young.

The acquisition of Zwings gives Zeus a chance to hit the ground running in the UK, where it got approval to trial its service back in 2020. It will initially offer its two-wheeled e-scooter in the country and, once appropriate legislation is passed, it will be followed by the three-wheeled model.

Zeus says that its three-wheeled e-scooter is more appealing to a wider range of users, including older generations and those with disabilities, while helping prevent misuse and minimise dangerous driving.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Zeus family and their visionary team and we look forward to combining our operational knowledge to achieve continuing success both in the UK and other markets in the years to come,” said Zwings CEO and founder JP Lewin.

“Both companies share a similar interest in providing hyper-localised transport services tailored to the communities they serve.”

Following a €5m investment in June, Zeus announced plans to expand its team with 20 new jobs for Ireland. The start-up already employs 36 people in the country, and more than 100 in its markets globally.

“We have invested in Ireland and have created our global head office here as well as creating sustainable employment in the local market, in anticipation of legislation governing micromobility in Ireland,” added Young.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic