July 16, 2020 / 5:06 AM / 23 days ago

E-scooter sharing firm VOI breaks even, raises $30 million to expand

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s VOI Technology is on track to make an annual profit in 2021 after breaking even in June, the first big electric scooter sharing firm to do so, it said on Thursday.

VOI, which launched in 2018, was hit by lockdowns to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but now sees demand picking up as riders are able to socially distance and avoid crowds.

The company, whose competitors include Tier, Lime and Bird, is also set to raise $30 million to fund expansion into new markets including the United Kingdom, Chief Financial Officer Mathias Hermansson told Reuters.

He added that after the new funding round, the valuation of the company would be just below $270 million.

“We can see now from week to week that revenues in more or less all cities are growing,” Hermansson told Reuters in an interview.

The new funding from new and existing investors, led by VNV Global, takes the Swedish company’s total funding to $165 million since 2018.

VOI, which operates in 40 cities in 11 countries, is aiming to make its first full-year profit in 2021, while Hermansson expects losses to be “substantially lower” this year than the 770 million Swedish crowns ($85 million) reported in 2019.

He added the company was planning for some growth in revenues this year, after an almost fifty-fold increase to 317 million crowns in 2019.

Hermansson said the company was looking at many new cities for possible expansion, including New York.

($1 = 9.0563 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Mark Potter

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