Tier, a Berlin-based micro-mobility company backed by SoftBank, is entering Bahrain after securing $60 million in asset-backed financing from Goldman Sachs in June.
Tier was licenced by the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications to operate in Bahrain, which will be its third market in the Middle East after the UAE and Qatar.
The ministry has set out "extensive master plans to facilitate micro-mobility within the country and Tier aims to support these policies by introducing new modes of transportation, such as e-scooters and e-bikes”, said Amir Melad, Middle East general manager at Tier.
The global electric scooters market size is expected to reach about $42 billion by 2030 at a 7.7 per cent compounded annual growth rate over the forecast period, 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.
Founded in 2018, Tier currently operates in 135 cities in 14 countries in Europe and the Middle East. It is a shared micro-mobility provider offering people a range of shared, light electric vehicles, from e-scooters to e-bikes and e-mopeds, powered by a proprietary energy network.
The company is also planning to use the new funding to install new battery charging stations in retail outlets across Europe and the Middle East to power electric vehicles and increase mobility.
“With Tier’s cutting-edge e-scooters and e-bikes, residents in Manama can experience an eco-friendly, convenient and refreshing way of moving around the city,” Mr Melad said.
“We will continue to expand our micro-mobility services to new territories in the Mena [Middle East and North Africa] region to foster greener cities,” he said.
To use a Tier scooter, riders can download the app, select an e-scooter on the virtual map and unlock it by scanning the quick response (QR) code. To end the ride, users need to find a designated safe parking spot and click on the "end ride" button.
The company’s June debt facility from Goldman Sachs followed a $250m Series C funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 in November.
It has rapidly expanded its footprint across cities in the GCC starting with Abu Dhabi in 2019, before adding Dubai and Doha.
Apart from SoftBank, other investors in the company include Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital, London-based Northzone, Goodwater Capital from California and investment company White Star Capital from New York.