Scooter startup Tier raises $60m led by UAE’s Mubadala Capital

Image from pixabay

One of Europe’s biggest e-scooter sharing companies said it has raised $60 million in new financing, led in part by one of the sovereign wealth vehicles behind SoftBank Group Corp.’s gargantuan Vision Fund.

Berlin-based Tier Mobility, a primary competitor to U.S. e-scooter unicorns Lime and Bird, said it would use the money to accelerate its expansion across the continent, which presently extends to more than 40 cities in 12 countries. A valuation wasn’t disclosed, though by Tier’s own calculations, its 10 million rides in eleven months of operation mark it as the fastest-growing mobility startup yet.

Leading the German startup’s new funding is Mubadala Capital, an arm of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth-backed Mubadala Investment Co., alongside Silicon Valley’s Goodwater Capital.

Mubadala forms part of Abu Dhabi’s efforts to diversify its economy by turning oil revenue into profitable investments, and in 2017 it committed $15 billion to SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund.

Demand for e-scooters in cities worldwide has helped the industry’s biggest players achieve multibillion-dollar valuations in less than two years. The popularity of the North American front-runners, fueled by the projected value of being a future market leader, has caused a surge of new competitors to spring up across Europe over the past 18 months.

Bloomberg News reported in February that Tier and Voi Technology AB had held early-stage talks about a possible merger in order to remain competitive, but both remained independent and sought fresh funding instead. Other substantial rivals include Wind Mobility as well as Circ, the company created by Delivery Hero co-founder Lukasz Gadowski.

“We firmly believe that micromobility as a form of transportation is here to stay, especially in Europe,” said Amer Alaily, senior principal at Mubadala Capital. “We are confident that Tier Mobility is best positioned to become the leading player.”

Other new backers of Tier include Axa Germany and Finland’s Evli Growth Partners. In a statement, Tier also noted that all of its previous investors had participated in the new funding round announced Monday, including Northzone Ventures.

New rides

Tier Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Leuschner said he saw the company not as a scooter startup, but a micromobility service provider.

“We have a clear path to create a new type of vehicle and we’re not far away, and it’s suited for cities and will be good in rainy seasons,” he told Bloomberg Television on Monday.

When asked if he planned to expand into the U.S. in response to North American competitors crossing into Europe, the CEO also said the continent was his “laser focus.”

“Germany’s the biggest market for transportation in Europe so we believe completely in Europe,” he said.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.