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We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck scooter startup Voi used to raise $160 million in new funding

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VOI_CEO Fredrik Hjelm VOI CEO Fredrik Hjelm

  • Swedish electric scooter startup Voi has raised $160 million from New York fund The Raine Group.
  • Voi competes with rival scooter firms Bird, Lime, and SoftBank-backed Tier in Europe.
  • The fresh funding comes as the company continues its expansion across Europe and takes its total raised to nearly $420 million. 
  • “We have the recipe for success and have proved both product-market fit and logistics,” Voi CEO Fredrik Hjelm said. “Now this is more of an execution play.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Investors continue to flood electric scooter startups with cash in spite of the pandemic, with Sweden’s Voi raising a $160 million round from New York fund The Raine Group.

Founded in 2018, Voi offers scooter rental services across more than 45 cities in 11 European countries from its base in Stockholm. It doesn’t operate in the US or Asia.

Riders can unlock and rent a Voi scooter by scanning a QR code on the vehicle with an app. Users are charged a fixed base rate for unlocking the scooter and are then charged by the minute for usage with the cost depending on the city. 

Its new funding comes hot on the heels of Japanese investing giant SoftBank’s investment into German scooter rival Tier as part of a $250 million mega-round.

E-scooters have proved, much like ride hailing previously, to be a capital-intensive industry with identikit startups  requiring cash to fund a grab for market share.

The entry of SoftBank into Tier and now The Raine Group into Voi demonstrate a new maturity in the industry, according to Fredrik Hjelm, Voi’s CEO. 

“Growth funds are stepping into this space and they want more certainty when they invest,” Hjelm told Business Insider .

“They want three to five times the return on capital rather than hundred-to-one moonshots which shows mobility is a mature and solid industry, not a boom and bust industry anymore. This deal is a sign of strength not just for Voi but for the whole industry.”

Fighting it out with Silicon Valley competition

Well-funded US scooter players Bird and Lime have used their arsenals of venture capital funding to expand onto the continent.

Increasingly though, they have begun to lose out to smaller local copycats as Europe’s cities clamp down on the number of scooter operators and turn to a competitive tender system.

In July, Voi raised a $30 million extension to its previous $85 million Series B round as part of its bid to take on its competitors and Hjelm remains bullish. “We have the recipe for success and have proved both product-market fit and logistics,” he said. “Now this is more of an execution play.”

The startup is making inroads into the UK, which only recently changed its rules to legally permit scooters on its roads. Like other European markets, the UK’s regions are issuing permits via a tender process. Voi won tenders in the major cities of Birmingham and Liverpool, and the Cambridgeshire region.

The company claims that it was profitable for the month of June following an initial downturn in activity during pandemic-induced lockdowns in Europe.  

In addition to the equity funding, Voi has secured what it calls the industry’s first asset-backed debt facility at scale, which will be directed towards scooters and e-bikes in 2021.

Jason Schretter, partner at The Raine Group, said changes to the way we get around cities were here to stay. “Three years of evolution have taken place in just six months, and we are fully confident that we are only in the beginning of this trend,” he said.

The fresh cash takes Voi’s total funding to $417.9 million. Existing investors VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, and Inbox joined the round.

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Voi Voi Voi pitch deck