E-scooters are capturing the interest of investors across the world. After startups in the US, the Swedish e-scooter company VOI, has raised $50 million in a series A funding round led by London-based Balderton Capital.
The others who participated in the round include LocalGlobe, Raine Ventures, and previous VOI backer Vostok New Ventures.
A few angel investors also participated in this round include Cristina Stenbeck, Jeff Wilkes (Amazon), Justin Mateen (co-founder of Tinder), Nicolas Brusson (CEO and co-founder of BlaBlaCar), Sebastian Knutsson (co-founder of King), Spencer Rascoff (CEO of Zillow), and Keith Richman, reports Techcrunch.
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“We see cities free from noise and pollution. Cities where people move around on electric vehicles, in an easy and more sustainable way. Cities made for living, with happier citizens. With the cities, for the cities,” the company said in a statement on its website. Every e-scooter claims to to reduce pollution, de-congest traffic offer a clean, efficient, cost-effective and zero emission, first-and-last-mile alternative to cars and taxis.
VOI had raised seed funding of about $3 million in June this year led by Vostok New Ventures.
Founded by Fredrik Hjelm, Douglas Stark, Adam Jafer and Filip Lindvall, VOI calls itself a green mobility company offering electric kick scooter sharing in partnership with cities and local communities. It launched operations in August this year and took on US-based Bird and Limebike, who had expanded footprint into Europe from Paris. VOI has since expanded to Madrid, Zaragoza and Malaga in Spain.
Europe, which has been a bit behind on the trend, hasn’t had any European-founded electric scooter company, something that the Swedish-based company VOI wants to change, the company says on its website.
The first fleet of scooters was introduced in Stockholm. “We offer a quick alternative to walking, a smoother alternative to having your own bike and a more environmentally friendly alternative to fossil fuel-driven buses, taxis, mopeds or cars,” says Fredrik Hjelm, founder and CEO of VOI.
VOI Founder and CEO, Fredrik Hjelm, has a background in and association with the Boston
Consulting Group and Avito. Most notably, Hjelm founded the self-propelled AirBnb
management company GuestIt, which helps homeowners to rent their apartments through
“During my years at GuestIt I have often been asked by tourists about how to get around
easily in Stockholm. Bike rental is currently complicated and taxi is very expensive. That
combined with the fact that taxi trips in Stockholm are getting shorter for every year, and
over 50% of the taxis rides in Stockholm today are shorter than 5 kilometers, made me
realize that there was a need for alternative means of transport and the idea of taking the
electric scooters to Europe was born. ”
The plan is to use the new funding to continue to expand into new European markets. Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Portugal are said to be launching ‘in the coming months,’ according to Techcrunch.