SoftBank-backed Tier raises $200m in funding round

The electric scooter operator will use proceeds to fund acquisitions and strategic investments, as well as expand its international coverage

Tier, a Berlin-based micro-mobility company backed by the SoftBank Group, completed the first close of its $200 million Series D funding round.

SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 and other existing investors – Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital, London-based Northzone and investment company White Star Capital from New York – participated in the round, the company said on Monday.

New partners such as M&G Investments, a green impact fund, and Mountain Partners, a global investment holding company, also took part.

With a $2 billion valuation, Tier has raised $660m in equity and debt funding so far. This funding round is part of a broader equity and debt raise.

“The funding provides Tier with additional resources to fulfil our mission to Change Mobility For Good,” said Lawrence Leuschner, chief executive and co-founder of Tier Mobility.

“Clocking more than 80 million trips [and] replacing over 13 million car rides in such a short amount of time exemplifies that cities around the world look for ways to make their transport networks safer and move towards a zero-emission future.”

The global electric scooters market size is expected to grow 7.7 per cent at a compounded annual growth rate to about $42bn by 2030, according to a study by Grand View Research.

Demand for e-scooters has helped the industry’s biggest players, such as Bird and Lime, achieve multibillion-dollar valuations in less than two years.

Co-founded in 2018 by Mr Leuschner, Matthias Laug and Julian Blessin, Tier is a shared micro-mobility provider offering a range of light electric vehicles, from e-scooters to e-bikes and e-mopeds, that are powered by a proprietary energy network.

The German company has 135,000 e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds spread across 150 cities in 16 countries in Europe and the Middle East.

“This equity funding provides further firepower to scale our multi-modal market presence globally and pursue strategic investments and acquisitions,” Alex Gayer, chief financial officer at Tier Mobility, said.

“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.”

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This equity funding provides further firepower to scale our multi-modal market presence globally and pursue strategic investments and acquisitions
Alex Gayer, chief financial officer, Tier Mobility

Tier plans to use the funds for acquisitions and strategic investments, while expanding its international coverage across growth markets. In the GCC, the company operates in the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain in the Gulf.

Tier will also use the funds to further invest in extending its multimodal fleet across Europe and the Middle East and continue to expand its Tier Energy Network, a network of battery charging stations hosted by local businesses, it said.

The company had previously raised $60m in asset-backed financing from Goldman Sachs in June. This came after a $250m Series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 in November.

“Lawrence, Matthias and Alex’s passion for change can be felt across the organisation – from Tier’s hub in Dubai to their headquarters in Berlin,” Amer Alaily, director at Mubadala Capital's Ventures business in Europe, said.

“They have quickly emerged as not only a leader in the European micro-mobility space but also one whose commitment to sustainability sets them apart from their competitors.”

The Middle East has become a hotbed for international companies looking to expand their operations as funding for technology-enabled solutions picks up in the region.

Livspace, a Singapore-based home interior and renovation company, said it is expanding into the Middle East in a $50m joint venture with Alsulaiman Group, Ikea’s operating partner in the region.

Livspace, which brings homeowners, design professionals, vendors and brands together on a single managed marketplace, will launch operations in Saudi Arabia, the company said on Monday.

The joint venture aims to sign up more than 1,000 design and home improvement professionals in the region by 2022, it said.

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Livspace will rapidly continue to scale its business model across [several] regions and new markets around the globe, starting with the Asia-Pacific geography
Anuj Srivastava, chief executive and co-founder, Livspace

“Livspace will rapidly continue to scale its business model across [several] regions and new markets around the globe, starting with the Asia-Pacific geography,” said Anuj Srivastava, chief executive and co-founder of Livspace.

“Our platform enables us to explore JV models to quickly expand our services in both new and existing markets.”

Livspace plans to expand across 80 new cities globally, starting with the Asia-Pacific over the next 18 to 24 months, the company said.

The joint venture aims to bring trusted home interiors and renovation solutions to homeowners, enable thousands of small and fragmented design and home improvement professionals to grow their business and create the largest, most organised digital supply chain for the home interiors and renovation industry in the region, Livspace said.

“This partnership with Livspace will allow us to expand the scope of the customer experience, from the beginning of the design of the home to the end of implementation,” Saud Alsulaiman, chief executive of Alsulaiman Group.

Updated: October 25th 2021, 8:40 AM
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