Swedish e-scooter startup VOI Technology announces today that it has secured a $50 million investment, closing a Series A round led by Balderton Capital.
VOI launched their e-scooter sharing service in Stockholm in August 2018. Their vision is to provide an efficient and cost-effective alternative to a car or taxi when making shorter inner-city journeys. They hope the scooters will work to ease the heavy traffic currently crowding city centres.
A better environment
By reducing the amount of traffic in the cities, the prospect is that the cities will be cleaner. With reduced air pollution and less noise from traffic, the city centre could become a more pleasant environment to be in.
“We believe that the threat from climate change is imminent and people’s behaviour, particularly when it comes to travelling shorter distances within Europe’s cities, urgently needs to change,” CEO Fredrik Hjelm said in a press release.
Today, VOI launches in Gothenburg. It has also launched in three Spanish cities since August - Madrid, Zaragoza and Malaga. They are the first and only European e-scooter sharing company to have introduced scooters in multiple countries.
At the core of VOI’s process is their values. The company has worked together with city authorities, waiting for the right moment to launch and always through collaboration with the local council or governing body.
“As a Scandinavian and European company, our approach is one based on dialogue and transparency”, Hjelm explained.
The right time to launch
VOI have, in the past, held off from launching in cities where there is an existing regulation stating clearly that they should not place their scooters there. “Using city streets and infrastructure to do business cannot be done without the full cooperation and support of the host city concerned”, Hjelm said.
According to Hjelm, some of their competitors have ignored regulations and launched anyway. In these cases, they are removed some 24 hours later. VOIs approach of working closely with local governments seems to be paying off, as they have had four successful launches thus far. The key, according to VOI, is to create solutions that work for both parties.
“We’ll work closely with politicians and decision-makers to improve the transportation network in every city we operate in. We listen well and adapt when we need to – which is something that comes from our Scandinavian approach to business and is stitched into our corporate DNA,” Hjelm continued.
Since their August launch, VOI has registered more than 120 thousand users, who have made more than 200 thousand rides. Following this investment, they plan to use to investment to continue with their expansion. They intend to tap into markets in The Netherland, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Portugal during the next few months.
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