Tier is the German word for “animal” or “beast” – so it’s fitting that the Berlin e-scooter sharing service has nearly become a unicorn.
Japanese high-tech investor Softbank is putting USD 250 million into the firm and its fleet of vaguely fluorescent aquamarine vehicles. That’s taken its value up to nearly one billion dollars according to business newspaper the Financial Times and made it the world’s second largest scoter-sharing company after US competitor Bird.
“Normally European start-ups give up at some point in the face of the Americans,” Tier founder and CEO Lawrence Leuschner told online magazine Business Insider. “It’s nice that a company from Europe has now also received money from international investors to become a market leader.”
Yanni Pipilis, managing partner of Softbank Investment Advisers praised Tier for its success in building long-term relationships with cities and regulatory authorities and its technology-driven development of top offerings for customers.
Tier says it has 60,000 scooters in more than 80 European cities and around 900 employees. The new capital will be used to expand its European charging network and examine markets beyond Europe.