Urban mobility tech startup Swobbee has just secured an additional €2 million. The Berlin-based team now plans to expand, bringing its rental batteries and battery swapping stations to more markets.
As the race to reach net zero picks up pace, different solutions are needed to facilitate a green transition – facilitate a way for sustainable and eco-friendly choices to become second nature.
A key part of the green transition is the creation of greener ways to travel. Urban mobility is now increasingly characterised by electric vehicles, futuristic tech and new approaches to moving from A to B. However, whilst EVs pick up in popularity, there is a gap in ensuring there is sufficient access to reliable and sustainable charging services.
Based in Berlin, Swobbee provides rental batteries and battery-swapping stations – offering a unique battery-swapping system. The startup has just raised €2 million in an extended Series A round.
Polish fund SpeedUp Energy Innovation and Dutch Stichting Clean Future Dividend Fund joined the group of earlier investors.
Founded in 2017 (and rebranded as Swobbee in 2020), the climate tech team develops an all-in-one solution based on integrated hardware and software to offer battery-swapping stations for electric vehicles. The aim is to reduce any barriers to adopting EVs by building accessible and reliable charging infrastructure.
The company’s battery swapping infrastructure takes responsibility for the physical process of recharging batteries off the hands of light electric vehicle owners or suppliers. Meanwhile, the software is installed in the charging stations, enabling smooth and efficient sue of the hardware. The software, created from scratch by the company’s team, is an end-to-end solution, meaning that it controls the entire battery charging and management process within the station.
Thomas Duscha, CEO and co-founder of Swobbee: “Each of our stations is equipped with 8 to 30 battery slots. We currently offer charging infrastructure for 8 (soon 10) types of batteries, which, in Europe, allows us to be compatible with about 70% of current light electric vehicles, or so-called LEVs, used by players in the shared micromobility as well as last-mile-delivery sectors. Using our device, the owner or manager of the vehicle swaps an empty battery with a full one in a few minutes and can continue using the vehicle, without unnecessary downtime.”
The EU is bolstering efforts to promote the use of EVs and the urban micromobility market has immense global potential. It’s already estimated to reach a value of €500 billion in 2030. The market is also expected to grow at a CAGR rate of about 17.5% over the next seven years. Of which the largest segment of this market, as much as 73%, involves electric-powered devices.
Bartłomiej Gola, General Partner of SpeedUp Energy Innovation which is part of SpeedUp Group: “Our cities are polluted and overcrowded. It is impossible to fit more cars on streets that were sometimes built hundreds of years ago. That’s why it’s so important to make the use of LEVs economically viable and useful at the same time.
When the micromobility trend began, technology was not ready for the use of replaceable batteries in LEVs, which significantly minimize vehicle downtime, thereby improving their unit economics. Swobbee, in our opinion, is likely to become one of the key beneficiaries of technological advances in this area. What’s more, we predict that the use of micromobility devices will amount to up to 15% of all short-distance trips, with a range of up to 8 kilometres. This is just one of the market figures that leads us to believe in the enormous potential facing the Swobbee team.”
Swobbee’s solution allows operators of fleets of light electric vehicles, such as bicycles and scooters, to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 87%.
This latest funding boost will be used to further develop Swobbee’s platform and fuel its expansion across the world. Swobbee’s expansion plans outside Germany envisage entering Eastern European and Southeast Asian markets in the upcoming months and years. So far, Swobbee is already operating stations in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal.
Dagmar Parizkova, Director of Clean Future Dividend Fund foundation: “We are thrilled to invest in Swobbee, which is at the forefront of sustainable micro-mobility solutions. Swobbee’s battery-as-a-service and charging-as-a-service model is not only environmentally friendly but also highly practical, enabling seamless mobility through their industry-leading software and hardware. Having spent many years in the energy storage space, Clean Future Dividend Fund is equipped to assist Swobbee in all facets of its business. We are proud to co-invest alongside EIT InnoEnergy, one of the largest investors of sustainable energy, to support this exciting sector.”
Devin Sebok from Richfox Capital, fund manager of Clean Future Dividend Fund: “Having spent many hours engaging with the management team of Swobbee, we are confident that their leadership will guide them to success. With the boom in the e-mobility sector, companies like Swobbee that are providing the much-needed infrastructure will allow the EU to hit their zero-emission goals.”