By Adam Clark


SoftBank Corp. has doubled down on its bet on European e-scooter provider TIER Mobility, co-leading a $200 million funding round valuing the company at around $2 billion.

The Series D funding round, disclosed Monday, shows a continued appetite for private investment in European mobility companies, even as U.S. peers move to the stock market after facing a blow to growth from the Covid-19 pandemic.

In May, U.S. e-scooter leader Bird announced a deal to go public via a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company that gave it an enterprise value of $2.3 billion. Smaller Italian-American rival Helbiz Inc. took the same path to begin trading on Nasdaq in August, while Lime was reported to be in SPAC talks earlier this year after slashing its valuation in 2020.

However, European e-scooter and mobility companies continue to rake in major private funding rounds. Estonia's Bolt, which operates ride-hailing and delivery services as well as e-scooters, raised 600 million euros ($699 million) in August, valuing the company at about $4.75 billion. Stockholm-based Voi raised $160 million late last year and is reported to have already hired bankers for a new funding round. Both companies operate fleets across dozens of European cities, as does Berlin-based TIER.

TIER last raised $250 million in November last year, in a deal also backed by SoftBank's Vision Fund 2--its first investment in the e-scooter market--at a reported valuation of close to $1 billion. The latest funding round brings its total equity and debt funding to $660 million since it was founded in 2018.

The latest round was also backed by existing investors Mubalada Capital--the investment arm of Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund--, RTP Global, Novator, White Star Capital, Northzone, and Speedinvest.

New investors included U.K. fund manager M&G PLC via its Catalyst investment team, set up earlier this year to allocate up to $6.9 billion to sustainable private assets.

"This equity funding provides further firepower to scale our multimodal market presence globally, and pursue strategic investments & acquisitions. Our vehicle capex needs will be serviced with the debt capacity unlocked. Our goal is to build TIER into the European micro-mobility powerhouse, building on our current position as the number one player in the shared electric scooters market," TIER Chief Financial Officer Alex Gayer said.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 25, 2021 07:23 ET (11:23 GMT)

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