Pedestrians walk past a Bird Rides Inc., left, and Skinny Labs Inc. SpinBikes shared electric scooters parked on Market Street in San Francisco. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg) 

Scooter Mania Continues As Europe’s Voi Bags New Funding

(Bloomberg) -- One of Europe’s largest e-scooter sharing startups, Voi Technology AB, announced it has closed a $30 million round of funding to help it expand across Europe.

The fundraising comes as the continent’s swelling number of scooter companies are discussing possible consolidation and mergers in order to remain competitive, with U.S. giants Lime and Bird Rides Inc. also aggressively pushing across the EU.

Eight-month-old Voi has now raised a total of about $80 million and in a statement Monday said “most” of the Nordic cities it’s active in, which include Stockholm, Copenhagen, and Gothenburg, will be profitable early this year. It’s also active in Paris, Madrid, Lisbon, and a number of other European markets.

Scooter Mania Continues As Europe’s Voi Bags New Funding

The Swedish company’s chief executive officer, Fredrik Hjelm, said in an interview that Voi “eventually” plans to expand outside of the EU.

The European scooter industry has become quickly congested, with a host of startups springing up in quick succession. Stockholm-based Voi launched in August, and Berlin’s Tier and Wind Mobility followed within weeks. Flash, the company created by Delivery Hero co-founder Lukasz Gadowski and also headquartered in Germany, has small-scale operations in Portugal, Spain and Switzerland, and is planning a wider European roll-out in the spring.

But the arrival in Europe over the past year of U.S. rivals Lime and Bird have caused local players to consider how to deal with competitors that have much deeper pockets. Bloomberg reported in February that Voi had held early-stage talks with Tier Mobility about a possible merger, but decided to remain independent and pursue fresh funding instead.

Voi’s $30 million of new capital comes from existing investors, including Balderton Capital and LocalGlobe, as well as new investors Project A and Creandum. A valuation wasn’t disclosed.

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