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The Swedish E-Scooter Startup VOI Is Peaking

VOI Technology, who placed its first e-scooters on Stockholm’s busy streets in its motherland, Sweden, this summer has announced its success in raising $50 million in Series A funding [1].

The startup brought e-scooter sharing to life in Sweden and is currently also expanding vigorously into the southern part of Europe. Despite the ambitious plan to expand its service to many cities in Europe, VOI has been taking a more pragmatic approach to collaborating closely with the cities. Now, its scooters can not only be found on the icy roads of Stockholm and Gothenburg [2], but also in warmer cities such as Madrid, Zaragoza, and Malaga in Spain. Like many other American service providers such as Bird and Lime, VOI advertises itself as “clean, efficient, cost-effective and zero emission” and sits on the shelf of all the “first- and last-mile” transport alternatives, which are supposed to rid cities of bad air quality and horrible congestions. VOI charges €1 to unlock the e-scooter and €0.15 per minute for a ride.

Balderton’s investment in VOI followed in the footsteps of the other three of the “big four” London VC firms, who already started to invest in e-scooters. The e-scooter market has become competitive in a rather short time. Balderton partner Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen pointed out that VOI has doubled its revenues during the last month. According to the prognosis of some of the venture capital companies, much more money will be pouring into this space before we get to know who the winner is [1].

 

Personal comments

What do we know about electric scooters? Am I going to take one of these to bring me to the bus stop approximately 1 km away from my house? More importantly, will there be available scooters right outside of my building, so I can grab one on the go? Before, these questions were just scenarios playing out in my head, but now there are at least four e-scooters available to test right at Lindholmen Science Park in Gothenburg, where I work daily. Judging from the fleet size at this moment, my questions are probably still hard to be answered. Yet, looking at how the start-up has developed, we are definitely not so far away from seeing the results.

Interest in e-scooters is sweeping across Europe like wildfire, and so is VOI’s service. VOI has learned from its Americans peers to take cautious steps when introducing the scooters in new cities. That perhaps gave them some credit and eased the entry of its service on the new markets. However, will VOI be the only service provider? Probably not. Entrepreneurs are on the rise and sooner or later we can expect a more diverse market.

 

Written by Anne Faxér, RISE Viktoria.

 

Sources

1. 2018-11-18. VOI Technology, the e-scooter startup from Sweden, raises $50M led by Balderton Capital.

2. 2018-11- 19. Voi ska lansera elscootrar i Göteborg.