Swedish micromobility startup Voi has raised $160m in a funding round to help expand across European markets.

The funding round was led by Raine Group, which has previously backed Soundcloud, Houseparty and Plexchat.

Voi also received investment from previous backers, including VNV Global, Balderton, Creandum, Project A, Inbox and Stena Sessan.

Individual entrepreneurs and executives from Delivery Hero, Klarna, iZettle, Zillow, Kry/Livi and Amazon also participated.

Stockholm-based Voi will invest the funds in its technology platform and on the rollout its latest e-scooter model – the Voiager 4 – to more cities across Europe. It will also increase spending on safety infrastructures, such as helmets, improved lights and enhanced location accuracy.

Voi is one of a number of companies offering rental e-scooters unlocked by a mobile phone app. Competition in the European market this year has intensified as cities explore more environmentally friendly modes of transport that can provide an alternative to those where coronavirus is more likely to spread, such as buses and taxis.

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By GlobalData

This summer the UK began rental e-scooter trials, with a handful of operators competing for tenders in select cities. Voi has snapped up bids in Northampton, Birmingham, Liverpool, Cambridge, Bath and Bristol. It says that usage levels in these locations have “far exceeded” those in Europe.

Recent funding rounds by e-scooter operators suggest investors are betting on rental e-scooters becoming a key part of city transport networks. Last month Japanese conglomerate SoftBank led a $250m investment round in German micromobility startup Tier.

“Consumers and local governments across Europe are recognising a unique window of opportunity to leverage the recent period of transportation disruption to radically change and improve city mobility,” Jason Schretter, partner and head of EMEA at The Raine Group.

“Years of evolution have taken place in just six months, and we are fully confident that we are only at the beginning of this trend.”

Voi said it has also secured a scaled asset-backed debt facility to finance scooter and e-bike investment in 2021.

“This round of funding will allow us to continue to invest in people in the UK and in safety,” said Richard Corbett, regional general manager of UK, Ireland and Benelux for Voi.

“By making our fleet in the UK safer and more efficient, and by working with relevant partners to launch safety solutions and campaigns to educate riders and other road users, we will reinforce our commitment towards Vision Zero.”

Read more: Voi adds computer vision to e-scooters to detect pedestrians