Voi Updates

A series of leading venture capital groups, entrepreneurs and businessmen have backed Swedish electric scooter start-up Voi as a European rival to American leaders Bird and Lime, recently launched on the continent. .

The $ 50 million round of funding led by venture capitalist Balderton Capital is the third round of ‘Series A’ funding by a European start-up in the past year, according to data from Pitchbook . It comes amid a wave of launches, funding and international expansion plans of electric scooter start-ups.

Raine Ventures, a branch of investment bank Raine Group, London-based venture capital firm LocalGlobe and hedge fund Luxor Capital participated in the round, along with entrepreneurs Nicolas Brusson, co-founder of BlaBlaCar, Sebastian Knutsson, co -founder of King and Justin Mateen, co-founder of Tinder.

The investment comes three months after Voi launched its first scooters in the Swedish capital Stockholm and, according to co-founder Fredrik Hjelm, the money will be used to expand in four to five countries by the end of the year. year. Voi scooters cost € 1 to unlock and 15 cents per minute to ride in Spain, the same price as Bird’s.

Douglas Stark, a second co-founder, told the Financial Times that Voi would have an advantage over Bird and Lime because it would focus on Europe, where the rules vary widely by city and country.

“If there were no barriers, no blockages, there would be no opportunity for the bigger American players,” he said. “But it is we who are going to be patient to enter into these [European] markets. “

Bird and Lime have together raised nearly $ 1 billion over the past year to fund their overseas expansion. The two electric scooter companies, which each operate in more than 100 cities around the world, began operating outside of North America this summer, starting with Paris. Both companies also have scooters on the streets of Madrid, Vienna and Zurich.

Voi’s rise comes as investors scramble to position themselves in the increasingly competitive market for electric scooters. This summer, Uber invested in Lime, which also counts Google Ventures among its backers, while Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia and Accel are investors in Bird.

The flood of interest has sparked a host of rival launches outside of the United States. Mexican firm Grin has raised $ 45 million and Brazilian firm Yellow $ 63 million in recent months, while several others are seeking funds in Europe, Latin America and Asia, according to investors. Estonia-based ridesharing company Taxify has started its own scooter subsidiary, called Bolt, in Paris.

Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, general partner at Balderton, said he chose Voi because of its rate of revenue growth. “We believe that a major European player can emerge in this market,” he said. “Since I came back [from Silicon Valley to London], I haven’t seen any business grow as fast as this business has grown.

Voi declined to reveal his revenue figures, but said he reached 200,000 rides in two months.

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