Swedish electric scooter startup VOI Technology has raised $50 million in a Series A funding round led by Balderton Capital, with participation from Vostok New Ventures, LocalGlobe, and Raine Ventures, as well as several angel investors. The company, which already operates in Stockholm, Madrid, Zaragoza, and Malaga, plans to use the money to expand to Benelux, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Portugal within the next few months.
Founded in Stockholm earlier this year, VOI claims to be the first and only European company that has launched in more than one country. The startup boasts over 120,000 users who took its e-scooters for over 200,000 rides for a total of more than 350,000 km. The rental costs are €1 to unlock the e-scooter and a further €0.15 per minute.
Europe has been seeing a rise in e-scooter sharing platforms launching in different places, from local players like Berlin-based Tier that recently raised €25 million to the US-founded Lime that has raised a whopping $467 million and already operates in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland.
In the meantime, some countries and cities are less welcoming to the new mode of transportation than others. E-scooter sharing is de-facto banned in the UK and in Amsterdam; the city authorities in Stockholm have mulled banning e-scooters as well but ended up deciding against it. The main argument against shared e-scooters is that the customers tend to left the two-wheelers clogging the sidewalks, which is also the reason why Amsterdam banned dockless bicycle sharing as well.
Seeing the regulatory landscape getting more and more difficult, VOI takes pride in working closely with the municipalities in the cities of its operation.
“We strongly believe that using city streets and infrastructure to do business cannot be done without the full cooperation – and support - of the host city concerned,” said VOI's CEO Fredrik Hjelm. “We have, for example, decided to hold off launching in cities where regulation clearly states that we shouldn’t, whereas some of our competitors have launched anyway only to be kicked out 24 hours later.”
The news about the funding comes almost a month after the rumours about the round surfaced in a report by TechCrunch. Before the round, VOI had only received one capital injection of $2.9 million from Vostok New Ventures.
In the photo: VOI team