The 7-month old electric scooter sharing startup plans on using the funds for R&D and for increasing its footprint in the EU.
On Monday, VOI Technologies, an electric scooter sharing startup that is just 7 months old stated it has raised $30 million in its latest fundraising round. VOI Technologies plans on using the proceeds for further expanding in the European Union as as well as for increasing its investments in R&D.
Several large high-profile tech companies, including Alphabet Inc, Uber Technologies Inc, and others are betting that scooter-sharing will rise rapidly in Europe thanks to its large commuting populations and lower levels of car ownership in comparison to the United States.
“Having already put many scooters on European roads, domestic startups such as Tier and Dott and U.S. rivals Bird and Lime raised thousands of dollars in 2018 to expand further into the crowded marketplace.”
VOI is baked by venture fund Balderton Capital and BlaBlaCar CEO Nicolas Brusson. VOI believes it can beat rivals by building closer relationships with city authorities.
“Asking ‘permission’ before we enter new towns and cities, unlike some of our competitors, means we can work with the authorities on the ground to offer not only a viable alternative to cars,” said VOI CEO Fredrik Hjelm. He went on to add, this could also “help people to combine their e-scooter journeys with the existing public transport network”.
Consumers can quickly locate VOI scooters via its app or maps and then ride it by paying a 1 euro unlocking fee plus riding costs of 0.15 euro per minute.
Since its August 2018 launch, VOI has seen more than 400,000 riders taking more than 750,000 rides. With the newly acquired funds, VOI plans to further expand in France, Germany, Italy and Norway.
Critics have however warned, operators could face the same issues as those faced by bike sharing firms, which include backlash from authorities over rules, price wars, and vandalism.
Bike sharing operators such as Mobike and GoBee have retreated from Europe.