Swedish e-scooter startup Voi raises $85m

·Finance and news reporter
23 July 2019, Hamburg: E- pedal scooters are located at Berne underground station. By the end of the year, the Hochbahn, in cooperation with the Swedish mobility provider VOI, will test whether electric pedal-scooters are suitable for the first mile as a feeder to the underground station. Photo: Markus Scholz/dpa (Photo by Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Voi scooters in Hamburg, Germany. The Swedish mobility company announced a new funding round on Monday. Photo: Markus Scholz/picture alliance via Getty Images

Sweden’s Voi Technologies said on Monday that it had raised $85m (£66m) in new funding that it will use to build a “profitable” electric scooter business across Europe.

The funding brings to $135m the total raised by Voi since 2018, and comes on the heels of the $60m raised by German competitor Tier only last month.

Voi is one of several companies capitalising on the fast-growing urban mobility market — and the staggering rise of e-scooters in particular.

The company said on Monday that it now had over four million users, who in turn had taken more than 14 million rides.

The series B funding round — the company’s second major round of outside investment — was led by Vostok New Ventures, a Swedish venture capital firm. A host of other firms, including Balderton Capital, also participated.

Voi said it would use the money to focus on sustainability, profitability, and research and development.

Profitability has proven elusive for most e-scooter firms, with those in the US in particular burning through cash piles in order to flood the market with scooters.

Voi maintains that it has the “strongest unit economics” of all its peers, referring to the cost the company spends on each scooter.

“There’s been a huge demand for Voi’s e-scooters from residents across Europe in the last 12 months but making a landmark change to transport in Europe takes more than simply flooding cities with thousands of scooters,” said Fredrik Hjelm, the CEO and co-founder of Voi, in a statement.

“We are developing a long-term business that gives people a new way of moving around cities that’s clean, fast, convenient and also fun.”

Since its founding in 2018, Voi has launched in 38 cities across 10 European countries, including Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, Helsinki, Bordeaux, and Oslo.