However, these scooters are also gaining traction in Scandinavia. Swedish electric scooter startup Voi recently passed a crucial milestone in their race to become one of the country’s leaders in the industry. The company raised $160 million in its Series C funding round recently — a critical step for the company.
In total, Voi has raised nearly $200 million in funding from investors like VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, Inbox, and Stena Sessan.
Founded in 2018, the company believes electric scooters can be used to help city dwellers get around in the future.
“[Escooters] can play a central role in changing how people move in cities in the future,” the company wrote in a statement. “And we want to make sure that the transformation happens the right way – through real innovative technology, open and transparent dialogue with cities and Governments, and by adapting our products to local needs.”
Voi plans to use the money to enhance safety measures like brakes, lights, and location tracking, as well as bring their newest scooter model, the Voiager 4, to new markets.
The Electric Scooter Market
Market trends suggest that Voi’s investment in the electric scooter industry is a wise one. The global electric scooter market is growing modestly year-on-year and is expected to reach a valuation of $16.4 billion by the year 2025.
It seems that environmental concerns are driving the growth of this market, as consumers and brands increasingly realize the effect of carbon emissions on the atmosphere and global legislative efforts are attempting to curb it.
Electric scooters present a practical alternative to traditional modes of transportation that rely heavily on fossil fuels. If one only needs to travel a matter of blocks, walking may take too long, and driving may be unnecessary. One needs only to grab a scooter from the nearest rack, scan the bike with the Voi mobile app, ride to a destination, and park it once more.
These rides are inexpensive and convenient, and Voi offers longer-term plans as well. Riders can get a 24-hour ride pass for a little over $10 and an all-you-can-ride monthly pass for a bit more. These plans offer a great deal of flexibility for both sightseers and regular city workers, as well as helping to cut down on noise pollution in the city and crowded roads.
European Scooter Startups Are Outpacing American Companies
For the time being, companies like Voi and others based in Europe are outperforming their American counterparts. Voi’s massive round of funding is but one example of this success — German scooter startup Tier raised $250 million in venture capital funding in November of 2020, which makes the company’s value close to $1 billion. This funding makes Tier the second largest scooter company in the world, after Santa Monica, California’s Bird Scooters.
Some experts believe that these successes prove that Europe is a better market than the United States for electric scooters. Not only that, but Europe’s legislative work to promote the use of alternate transportation may help these companies last longer than their American rivals.
“It’s not rocket science that European cities are a much better fit for this type of product than US cities,” Henri Moissinac, CEO and founder of Amsterdam-based e-scooter firm Dott, said in an interview with CNBC. “In the US, they’re so entrenched in the car world … I think it’s a better fit for Europe.”
However, the future is notoriously difficult to predict, and numerous American legislative bodies, both state and federal, are passing climate initiatives that may, intentionally or not, help companies like Lime and Bird.
For now, though, Voi and companies like it are positioned to become key players in the global electric scooter race, and their newest round of fundraising will only help them become stronger.
About the Author
Elijah Labby is a graduate of the National Journalism Center. He has previously written for Broadband Breakfast, a technology and internet policy website.