E-scooter start-up Zeus raises €2m to expand European operations

22 Jan 2021

Damian Young. Image: Zeus Scooters

Former Europcar chief Colm Menton has led the investment as the start-up prepares for an eventual Irish launch.

Irish e-scooter start-up Zeus Scooters has raised €2m in a funding round led by the former chief executive of Europcar Ireland.

Founded by Damian Young in 2019, the start-up launched e-scooter rental services in 17 cities in Germany last year. It now plans to launch in more European markets and the UK, which introduced rules for e-scooters last year.

“We have become the fastest growing micromobility [start-up] in Germany and we have exciting plans for 2021, including launching in our home market, Ireland,” Young said.

Zeus, like many others in e-scooter business, is awaiting the legislative change that will allow for e-scooters on Irish roads.

The funding round was led by Colm Menton, the former chief executive of car rental firm Europcar Ireland, who sold the franchise back to its French parent company in 2016 for an estimated €26m. Since then, Menton has turned his eye to the internet of things in the car rental industry, co-founding RentalMatics in 2019.

“We have been impressed by what [Zeus] has achieved in such a short time in a sector that is expected to grow to over €500bn in a few short years,” Menton said on his investment in Zeus.

“This investment will allow the business to continue with its ambitious plans and enter new markets including Ireland when legislation is passed. Zeus Scooters is a positive addition to our portfolio in this market.”

The Dublin-headquartered start-up, which has a team of 25 people across its bases in Ireland and Germany, has built a three-wheeled scooter that it says is safer and more stable, in a bid to stand out from its many rivals around Europe.

“We want to bring micromobility to cities large and small, contribute to decongestion of these cities and reducing the carbon footprint of our cities globally,” Young added.

Competition in the Irish market will be stiff with local rivals like Zipp Mobility and Bleeper as well as international players like Voi making tentative plans to launch in Ireland when it’s possible.

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