[South Africa] Dott announces €30 million Series A co-led by EQT and Naspers
Dott, the European micro-mobility company, announced a commitment for a €30 million Series A funding round.
The investment, which will close imminently, is co-led by existing investors the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”), a leading European multistage VC fund with commitments of just over €566 million, and Naspers , a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world, through its Naspers Ventures division. Other investors include existing investors Axel Springer Digital Ventures , Felix Capital, FJ Labs, U-Start Club and angel investors.
The €30m investment will be used to:
1. Accelerate the go-to-market for Dott’s custom-designed new products:
(a). E-bike : the design is complete, and pre-production is in progress. Dott’s e-bike will be launched within months and is produced in Europe and China and assembled in France.
(b). E-scooter generations 2 and 3 : Gen 2 will be available by the end of the year and includes a swappable battery. Gen 3 is currently in design and will be available in 2020 with more UX features and operations excellence. Dott’s objective is to continue to increase its e-scooters lifetime (from six months today to one year in September), providing ultimate UX and reducing operational costs.
2. Continue investing in the best service available (superior value with comprehensive insurance coverage at the same price), in-house operations (best fleet management tools), teams (mechanics, patrollers, ...) and best-in-class warehouses and repair workshops.
3. Launch in additional cities : Dott will launch in select cities in Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands in the coming months. Still, with the company’s “local with locals” approach, responsible operations and hardware specifically built for the shared usage. Dott is currently operating in Brussels, Paris and Lyon, with a first pilot in Milan as well.
The new round of investment confirms the strategy initiated by Dott’s French co-founders Maxim Romain and Henri Moissinac: along with a strong collaboration with municipalities and local mobility ecosystems, design vehicles specifically for sharing, operate the business in a responsible way (fully integrated operations - no juicers, recharge only in a safe environment) and in a sustainable manner (repair all scooters).
This leads to very promising usage . For instance, in Paris, the average distance per trip is 3.2 km (double distance vs. Lime at 1.6km) and the average trips per scooter per day is at 4 during weekdays and up to 6.5 during weekend days. This shows people love the Dott scooters and use them as a real means of transportation.
Safety is also a key part of this strategy. Along with offering a more stable scooter with bigger wheels (10 inches), lower center of gravity and double-brake system, Dott is the first company to offer comprehensive insurance coverage to its users in France and Belgium (coming soon in Italy) in partnership with Zego (Insurtech leader) and La Parisienne Assurances .
This insurance covers both personal injury and third-party liability . The insurance is automatically integrated in the sign-up process for new riders and before the next trips for the existing riders, with no extra cost.
“We’ve shown in the first months that we can offer a true alternative in European cities, taking the lead both in terms of sustainability and best user experience,” said Maxim Romain, CEO, and co-founder, Dott . “We think we have a winning combination now, starting with our great results in Paris, along with scooters designed for shared mobility and fully integrated operations from start. Our aim is now to accelerate, take the full lead in cities where we operate, expand to new countries and launch our own Dott e-bike as well as the two next generations of e-scooters in the coming months.”
“Over the last six months, Dott’s world-class team has proved they can develop and deliver the best product in the market, iterate quickly, and execute on their ‘locals with locals’ approach to ensure each roll-out meets the needs of the city it’s in. All while maintaining their focus on safety and ensuring that micro-mobility is environmentally friendly,” said Lars Jörnow, partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures. “EQT Ventures looks forward to supporting the team as Dott expands into new countries and launches new offerings.”
“The dense nature of cities in Europe is ideal for e-scooter and e-bike sharing for short commutes – most trips are much more efficiently covered than with a car,” said Martin Tschopp, COO, Naspers Ventures. Dott has experienced good traction in its first few months of operation and is leading with a local, sustainable and safety-first mindset, which is appealing to Naspers.”