Europe has witnessed an increase in focus on reducing carbon commission and move towards sustainable transport. Cities have been under pressure to transform transport operations and cut the reliance on polluting private vehicles to meet their own net-zero emissions targets. E-scooters, e-bikes and other forms of micro mobility are the best choice for cities that want a sustainable ecosystem. Hence, the e-scooter market is the continent has become an extremely competitive market right now.
Adding to its sheen here is the three-year-old Swedish micromobility operator Voi Technology which has raised $115 million in an oversubscribed financing round to continue expanding its mobility platform into new markets next year.
With the new funding, the company is now valued at just over $1 billion. The round was led by Raine Group and VNV Global with participation from Inbox Capital, Nordic Ninja, Stena Sessan, Kreos Capital and new investors Ilmarinen, Nineyards Equity and ICT Capital and others. Leading entrepreneurs and operators from King, Avito, BCG and more also took part in the fundraising round.
The round follows a record year of operations as the startup outperformed its rivals and raised $45 million in only August this year. The total capital raised by Voi this year is $160 million while it raised $500 million since the startup was launched. The startup is also comtemplating an IPO in 2022.
Towards a net zero world
Founded in 2018, the platform that offers e-scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities is taking on the green route towards a net zero world.
Believing that e-scooters can play a central role in changing how people move in our cities in the future, the startup wants to ensure the micromobility transformation happens the right way – through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and governments and by adapting our products to local needs.
According to Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and CEO of Voi Technology, the platform is introducing a number of new climate measures. “Voi will transition to fully electric operational fleets by early 2023. Fleets and warehouses will be fully powered by renewable energy. By 2023, its battery cells will be produced in Europe. Thanks to considerable investments from the EU, European lithium-ion production will soon be a reality. The carbon footprint of European battery cells is expected to be 50% lower than traditional cells in their first year of production and by 2030. Voi is one of the few operators to source its e-bikes from Europe and is working on plans to source e-scooters from Europe in the future. We will work with suppliers to transition our supply chain to renewable energy and aim towards circular production by 2030,” he said.
“Micromobility is here to stay and we intend to be the go-to mobility platform in Europe for cities that want to give their residents and visitors an integrated, smart mode way to travel. Working closely with cities we are seeing a new vision of urban transport taking shape that is highly complementary to public transport,” he added.
Micromobility demand hottens up
Cities have been under pressure to transform transport operations and cut the reliance on polluting private vehicles to meet their own net-zero emissions targets. E-scooters, e-bikes and other forms of micro mobility are the best choice for cities that want a sustainable, shared vehicle that integrates easily with public transport, reduces reliance on private cars, relieves congestion and cuts pollution.
Over 90-million rides in Europe
Achieving 140% year on year revenue growth in 2021, the company hit over 90M rides since inception, while increasing margins and profitability this year. It also won more city tenders than any other operator in Europe, cementing its position as the most trusted micromobility partner across the continent.
The startup beat peers to reach operational profitability company-wide during summer 2020 and continued to improve gross margins and rides per scooter as it extended into new markets in 2021.
Expansion into new markets
The new funding will facilitate the group’s expansion plans into new European markets and add more e-bikes to the fleet. The platform has set an ambition to take 1 billion car trips off Europe’s roads by 2030 and expansion into new markets and solutions is essential to reach the target. The startup will also unveil Europe’s safest e-scooter model to date – the Voiager 5 – this spring as part of its commitment to achieving Vision Zero – no accidents.
The startup is currently present in 70 cities across the UK and Europe.
Operational efficiency and local partnerships
Jason Schretter, Partner and Head of EMEA at Raine Group, said: “Since we first invested a year ago, Voi’s commitment to product innovation, operational efficiency and local partnerships have helped the company extend its leadership position in the region. We welcome the support of new and returning investors in this round to help advance its efforts to partner with cities to help make the continent more green.”
Per Brilioth, CEO of VNV Global said: “We are reaching a tipping point with micromobility where cities are waking up to the full potential of this new mode of transport. Fully integrated with public transport, sustainably sourced and powered by renewable energy, this startup is putting itself far ahead of the competition as the grown-up, responsible operator-partner for cities.”
The other players in the micromobility space in Europe that have recently attracting gained momentum with funding include Sweden’s Vassla, Germany’s Tier and Dott.