Lime Raises $523 Million in Debt and Plans to Go Public Next Year
(Bloomberg) -- Electric scooter and bike startup Lime has raised $523 million of convertible debt and term loan financing as it prepares to go public next year, the company plans to announce Friday.
Investors including Abu Dhabi’s growth fund, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Uber Technologies Inc. and funds managed by Highbridge Capital Management committed $418 million in convertible debt funding. UBS O’Connor provided a $105 million senior secured term loan facility.
The San Francisco-based startup, whose official company name is Neutron Holdings Inc., plans to use the majority of the investment to expand its fleet of its latest model Gen4 e-bike and e-scooter. “We think this is a big sign there’s a renewed confidence in micromobility,” Chief Executive Officer Wayne Ting told Bloomberg. The company will use about $20 million of the financing to develop more sustainable hardware and lower the carbon footprint of its supply chain -- part of the company’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic dealt a blow to Lime as people curbed travel and fled the city centers where scooters have proliferated, forcing the micromobility industry to cut staff and dial back operations. As cities have reopened, however, the industry has benefited from people again looking to e-bikes and scooters as a way to commute and get around town. Lime launched in more than 80 new cities this year alone and has a fleet of more than 200,000 vehicles.
“We definitely think this is a major step to take Lime public next year,” Ting said. “The fact that this round was oversubscribed shows that investors are confident of that, too.” Lime’s closest competitor, Bird Global Inc., went public this week through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company called Switchback II Corp., and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BRDS.
Ting didn’t specify if Lime would pursue a public offering through a SPAC deal, direct listing or an initial public offering. “We’re going to be looking at all of them and choosing the one that makes most sense based on what’s happening in the marketplace at that time,” he said.
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