Lime scoots forward with $523m for new generation of e-scooters



CEO Wayne Ting said that Lime will also use the funding to help the company go carbon-free by 2030.

Lime, the global e-scooter company that has its eyes on the Irish market, has just raised $523m in an oversubscribed funding round. The investment will help the micromobility company meet its 2030 carbon-free goal and invest in its latest generation of e-scooters and e-bikes.

This comes as legislation in Ireland to legalise e-scooters received Cabinet approval last month after a long period of anticipation, and is expected to be given the green light before Christmas.

With humble beginnings in 2017 as a bike hire start-up in San Francisco, Lime has come a long way. It is now one of the world’s leading micromobility players. It featured in the 2021 list of Time 100 Most Influential Companies for the global popularity of its dockless e-scooters.

Of the total funding raised, $418m of convertible debt was led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Fidelity Management and Research, Uber and Highbridge Capital Management. It was accompanied by a further $105m secured term loan facility from private credit firm UBS O’Connor.

Lime CEO Wayne Ting called the oversubscribed round a “testament to the strong business we’ve built”, adding that it shows the confidence investors have in the company.

“This investment will allow us to double down on our newest generation of e-bikes and e-scooters, as well as additional modes, to ensure people have reliable access to affordable, shared, carbon-free transportation,” Ting said.

In March this year, Lime announced it was investing $50m in e-bikes to expand its fleets to 25 new cities in 2021.

Lime’s global growth

Since 2017, Lime has scaled rapidly in several global markets and has reintroduced bikes into its service. Last year, it also took over Jump, Uber’s e-bike arm, as part of a funding deal. By 2019, it had established an office in Dublin, with not a single one of its scooters on Irish roads.

Now, the company has bagged permits in major micromobility cities on both sides of the Atlantic, including Paris, London, New York and San Francisco. It continues its expansion into smaller cities and operates a fleet of more than 200,000 micromobility vehicles.

“Through the scale of its fleet, the efficiency of its operations and its ability to work with cities, Lime continues to prove that it is the global leader in micromobility,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber.

“Everyone at Uber has been impressed by Lime’s ability to consistently improve its balance sheet, and we’re confident that this leadership team has the vision and ability to take Lime to new heights, as cities and their residents increasingly rely on bikes and scooters for local travel.”

Last month, the company told the Irish Times that it would invest €10m over the next 18 months in its Irish operations to launch e-scooter and e-bike services. It promised to offer discounts to key workers, students, jobseekers and those who wear helmets while riding.

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