A couple of weeks after announcing its partnership with Onfido, Voi Technology, the e-scooter operator raised $160 million (approx £119 million) in new funding led by The Raine Group.
Existing investors including, VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, Inbox, and Stena Sessan, also participated in the round and were joined by top entrepreneurs and executives from Delivery Hero, Klarna, iZettle, Zillow, Kry/Livi, and Amazon.
The Series C funds take total funding of Voi over the last four months to $190 million (approx £142 million) including the $30 million (approx £22 million) announced in July and completed in September.
How will the funding be used?
As per the company, the funding will be used to invest in technology platform development, fuel growth in current Voi markets and bring the latest e-scooter model – Voiager 4 – to more cities across its network. Furthermore, the company will be using its funding to enhance the safety infrastructure of its platform.
Voi in the UK
Voi has become Europe’s preferred operator, winning over 2/3 of city license tenders, including recent wins in Birmingham, Liverpool, Bern, and Cambridge. It also leads in fleet efficiency across active markets, including top micro-mobility markets like Berlin, Oslo, and Stockholm.
Richard Corbett, Regional General Manager of UK, Ireland, and Benelux for Voi, said: “Over recent months, Voi has built a strong UK team to deliver against its ambitious plans to become the number one operator in the UK. As a result, the company has successfully won 16 city licenses, including the world’s largest exclusive operating license in the West Midlands, to become the UK’s largest e-scooter operator.”
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Delivered close to 250,000 rides in the UK
Since its first launch in September, Voi has grown to six cities across the UK and delivered close to 250,000 safe rides with a combined total distance of 300,000 miles travelled, replacing on average 14% of the car trips. Right now, Voi is active in markets including Northampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bath, and Bristol.
Richard Corbett adds, “Following a successful launch phase, in cooperation with each city and local partners, we are now implementing a controlled expansion of our fleet of scooters and operating areas and we aim to reach 4,000 vehicles by the end of the year. Our ‘Voi 4 Heroes’ pass, offering NHS workers free rides throughout the lockdown, had over 1,000 sign-ups to the programme in its first week, enabling thousands of NHS staff and key emergency workers to use our services to move safely around town during England’s lockdown. As the leader in the UK market, we will continue to work collaboratively with local authorities in the cities where we are present, supporting their local transport goals, whilst contributing to a positive transformation of our cities by helping to reduce the number of cars on our roads and cut carbon emissions.”
Develops hardware and software
As Voi adapts and develops hardware and software, riders benefit from helmet technology, better lights, improved location accuracy, and high-quality brakes, signalling, and suspension, helping ensure users get to their destinations safely.
Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder, and CEO of Voi said: “We are very happy to welcome Raine’s growth equity platform to the Voi family. They are the strong partners we were looking for and impressed us through their deep knowledge of the industry, their years of work across the global mobility sector, and their recent deep dive into the evolving competitive landscape in Europe. We share the same vision that cities should be pleasant places to live, work, and travel in – where transport does not pollute the air or cut people off from their environment. We and our city partners fully intend to achieve our target of Vision Zero – e-scooters that generate zero-carbon, zero accidents, and zero reasons not to embrace the future of transport.”
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“Through a combination of advanced e-scooter technology, increased rider adoption, and better operational practices, Voi is generating significantly more rides per active scooter than ever before. Meanwhile, by introducing swappable batteries, integrating more sustainable fleet management infrastructure, and switching to renewable energy to power our operations wherever possible, we have reduced the already minimal environmental impact of e-scooters even further. This funding will help us continue to offer an efficient and sustainable e-scooter service while providing people with the mobility they can rely on.”
Jason Schretter, Partner and Head of EMEA at The Raine Group, said: “Consumers and local governments across Europe are recognizing a unique window of opportunity to leverage the recent period of transportation disruption to radically change and improve city mobility. Years of evolution have taken place in just six months, and we are fully confident that we are only at the beginning of this trend. In Voi, we are backing a team that, based on its recent license wins across Europe’s top cities, clearly understands that the next generation of micro-mobility will require operators and local governments to partner to deliver consumer-friendly, environmentally efficient products, and services. We are excited to make this investment in Voi and its strong and purpose-driven culture, and we can’t wait to work with them on the journey ahead.”
Per Brilioth, CEO of VNV Global, said: “VNV Global has invested in Voi since 2018 and continues to be impressed by the speed at which the team is iterating and improving on product and operations. We think Voi will be the winner in this multi-billion dollar industry and consider ourselves fully part of the team. We have won the most contracts with cities, we are winning against the competition in pretty much all markets and, with this financing round, we have the capital to deliver on our growth vision. 2021 will be an exciting year.”
Partnership with Luna
Last month, Voi announced another partnership with Irish micro-mobility startup Luna to provide world-first computer vision for e-scooters. With AI and computer vision technology integration, Voi becomes the first scooter operator in the world to offer real-time pedestrian detection, similar to that available in high-end cars.