Europe’s leading shared micro-mobility provider TIER Mobility has announced today it has acquired computer vision micromobility tech firm Fantasmo.
While the amount of acquisition is undisclosed, with this move, the Berlin-based mobility startup continues to invest in and develop its e-scooter parking system, which will help to bring order to city streets and protect vulnerable road users.
Adding to its current workforce of more than 1,200 employees, TIER will retain all 15 of Fantasmo’s highly skilled experts in Europe and in the US. The acquisition is the latest significant move for TIER, following the purchases of micro-mobility operator Spin, Europe’s bikeshare player nextbike, the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility, as well as Hungarian tech agency Makery. In October last year, TIER announced the closing of its $200 million Series D funding round. To date, TIER has raised a total of $660 million in equity and debt.
10x more accurate than GPS
This purchase also marks an important step in tackling challenges like sidewalk riding and tandem riding. With Fantasmo’s upcoming computer vision-powered rider assistance system and further ensuring TIER e-scooters set the standard for city compliance. US-based Fantasmo has already earned a reputation with its Camera Positioning System (CPS), a new positioning technology that is ten times more accurate than GPS and can validate e-scooter parking within 20cm or less.
TIER and Fantasmo have established a strong relationship in the last 12 months, with the next-generation mapping company Fantasmo successfully supporting TIER’s efforts to eliminate irresponsible parking, resolving a major concern for city authorities and pedestrians, in particular people with visual impairment.
3D mapping and more
The company rolled out Fantasmo’s CPS first in Paris and later in other locations across TIER’s network of 185+ cities throughout Europe and the Middle East, including London, York, Dusseldorf and Leipzig.
In Paris, for example, TIER managed to improve parking compliance using Fantasmo’s 3D mapping, which has been in use since Spring 2021, and is so far the only provider with a proven technology-based solution to tackle irresponsible parking.
Matthias Laug, CTO and co-founder of TIER, said: “The acquisition of Fantasmo is a major step forward in our continuous investment in innovative features and technologies that will help to make e-scooters more compliant and safer for all road users. From the very beginning we’ve been hugely impressed by Fantasmo’s Camera Positioning System, which allows us to directly address the concerns of vulnerable road users when it comes to how e-scooters are parked. Our plan is to expand the positioning technology to numerous cities in Europe and the Middle East in the near future and at the same time invest in the upcoming computer vision-powered rider assistance system.”
Jameson Detweiler, President and co-founder of Fantasmo, said: “We have been working with TIER closely for over a year, and have experienced firsthand their commitment to be the best micro-mobility platform for cities, citizens and riders. We are excited to continue on this journey together as we continue to expand our CPS powered parking validation technology and into the future by bringing that technology and advanced rider assistance systems directly onto vehicles. We are confident that with TIER’s operational and vehicle experience and Fantasmo’s computer vision technology, we can ensure micro-mobility vehicles, pedestrians and everyone else will be able to exist together harmoniously.”
Driver assistance technology
Shortly, TIER also plans to introduce a new computer vision-based driver assistance technology that – paired with the new IoT – can detect traffic violations and collisions as well as reckless riding on the scooter. Riders who do not follow the rules and regulations will be alerted to their offences.
The new feature, which aims to solve the most pressing problem of micro-mobility in all cities, is enabled by CPS technology and allows for high positional accuracy and centimetre-level mapping. Unlike other solutions that use GPS tracking, Fantasmo’s technology provides an accurate representation of vehicle location, even in dense urban environments where the GPS signal does not work reliably. Paired with the vision sensor, TIER’s new IoT platform will create the most advanced ARAS system to date.
Founded in 2018 by Lawrence Leuschner, Matthias Laug and Julian Blessin, TIER is headquartered in Berlin and currently operates in 185+ cities across 20 countries in Europe and the Middle East. Its investors include SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Mubadala Capital, Northzone, Goodwater Capital and White Star Capital.