Softbank-backed e-scooter operator Tier enters North America with Spin’s acquisition

The move enables the Berlin-based company to expand its global footprint to more than 520 cities in 21 countries

Founded in 2018, Tier has raised $660 million in equity and debt to date. Getty
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Tier, a Berlin-based micro-mobility company backed by SoftBank, has made a foray into North America by acquiring Ford-owned shared electric bike and scooter operator Spin, for an undisclosed amount.

With its acquisition of Spin and its 50,000 vehicles, Tier has expanded its global footprint to more than 520 cities and communities in 21 countries.

The move enables it to increase its fleet to about 300,000 vehicles, making the company the largest multimodal micro mobility operator globally, Tier said.

“We are excited to support citizens in cities and communities across North America to make the switch from cars to more sustainable urban mobility solutions,” Lawrence Leuschner, chief executive and co-founder of Tier, said.

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 global electric scooters market is expected to grow at a compounded annual rate of 7.7 per cent annually to about $42 billion 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.

Spin operates electric bikes and scooters in various cities in the US, Canada and the UK.

“Both companies believe in a partnership-first approach, operating with employees rather than contractors, and helping get people out of cars by offering sustainable, equitable and safe micro mobility services,” Ben Bear, Spin’s chief executive, said.

“Together we will be the number one choice of cities and riders globally.”

Germany’s Tier is on an acquisition spree to strengthen its portfolio.

In December, it agreed to buy Vento Mobility Srl, the Italian subsidiary of Wind Mobility.

This was Tier’s third acquisition in 2021, following the purchase of Hungarian tech firm The Makery and Europe’s top bikeshare player nextbike.

In October, it raised $200 million in a funding round led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and other existing investors, including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Capital, London-based Northzone and New York investment company White Star Capital.

As of December, with a valuation of $2bn, Tier has raised $660m in equity and debt to date.

Updated: March 04, 2022, 5:00 AM