Amsterdam-based e-scooter startup dott raises €20 million to expand across European cities

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Another European mobility startup has raised a large financing round, as e-scooters and e-bikes take off across the continent, offering a green alternative to cars and urban transit.

Amsterdam-based dott, a startup taking a local-first approach to micro-mobility, has raised €20 million in an early stage funding round to finance the launch of its uniquely designed e-scooters and e-bikes in European cities. The round was co-led by the EQT Ventures fund and Naspers, with participation from Axel Springer Digital Ventures, DN Capital, Felix Capital, FJ Labs, U-Start Club and angel investors.

Dott was founded by French duo Maxim Romain and Henri Moissinac earlier this year to offer all cities and citizens safe, green, flexible and affordable mobility solutions. The startup’s dockless e-scooters are built with safety, sustainability, and sharing in mind. Unlike other European players in the space, dott has designed its own sturdier e-scooters, with 10” wheels for reliable road grip, wider decks for optimized center of gravity, double brake system for safety, a speed cap at 20km/h, and a longer charging autonomy. dott vehicles will also be 100% repairable, with all parts replaceable when damaged.

When it comes to working with cities, dott is developing a local approach: it will rely on locally recruited teams to collaborate with the municipalities to develop the best solution for each city. Dott has also come up with a list of ten commitments the company will adhere to, including “city approval first”, “safety by design”, “top notch maintenance”, “green footprint” and “user privacy”. To ensure user safety, dott will not rely on the gig economy like most other players but on dedicated, trained workers who will recharge, clean and maintain dott’s vehicles on a daily basis.

The company’s first e-scooters will be launched in a pilot at STATION F, the world’s biggest startup campus, in early 2019.

Maxim Romain, CEO and co-founder of dott, said: “We believe we can significantly reduce the number of cars in cities if we make green vehicles such as e-bikes and e-scooters an enjoyable and practical experience for city residents. This is why we focus on well-designed vehicles, safety, and sustainability – so we’re still operating in cities in 20 years. Our ‘locals with locals’ approach fully empowers local teams to tailor their operations to the specific needs of each municipality.”

Lars Jörnow, partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures, said: “Due to environmental and congestion concerns, last mile transport in cities has to get smarter and it’s no surprise that eScooter adoption is rapidly increasing. The team was impressed by dott’s dedication to a locals with locals approach and its mission to make micro-mobility more efficient and environmentally friendly. We look forward to working closely with Maxim and Henri over the coming years.”

Martin Tschopp, COO, Naspers Ventures, said: “Naspers invests in companies that address big societal needs in markets where we see the greatest growth potential. This will be our first investment in mobility in Europe, a dense region that is ripe for disruption in short, inner city commuting. The dott team has experience in local mobility like no other team we have seen in Europe tackling micro-mobility.”

By the way: If you’re interested to join a fast-growing startup like dott, make sure to check out the EU-Startups Job Board.