Nov 10, 2020

Tier raises $250mn for micro-mobility electric scooters

electric scooters
Tier
SoftBank
Micro mobility
William Smith
2 min
Berlin, Germany-based Tier is a so-called micro-mobility company offering electric scooter ride-sharing services
Berlin, Germany-based Tier is a so-called micro-mobility company offering electric scooter ride-sharing services...

Berlin, Germany-based Tier is a so-called micro-mobility company offering electric scooter ride-sharing services.

With countries in Europe increasingly open to electric scooters as a way to solve traffic in city centres, Tier looks set to build on its existing base of 60,000 scooters across 80 cities. The company’s scooters are unlocked via an app, and can be dropped off anywhere for other users to pick up.

The sector has been hard hit, however, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with fellow player Lime laying off 13% of staff back in April.

Bucking that trend, Tier has just announced a $250mn Series C round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, with the participation of Mubadala Capital, Northzone, Goodwater Capital, White Star Capital, Novator and RTP Global. The funding builds on a further $131mn raised over four rounds since its 2018 foundation.

In a press release, CEO and co-founder Lawrence Leuschner, said: “After achieving profitability with our e-scooters, we have in place the foundations to lead the way towards seamless and sustainable mobility. Our vision is a completely new way of how we will move in cities in the future: all electric, shared and affordable, and with different vehicles powered by one energy network. Together with, city and national government, we will build the best solutions to ensure safe, highly efficient, and sustainable movement from A to B.”

The news of SoftBank’s investment comes on the heels of the company releasing its financial results for Q2 of 2020, which included a $5bn profit on investments in the aforementioned Vision Fund 2.

Yanni Pipilis, Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said: “Micro-mobility fills a large gap left by traditional urban car usage and presents a viable alternative to legacy transit systems. TIER has a proven track record in establishing long standing partnerships with cities and regulators, combined with a technology-led approach to develop leading customer propositions. We are pleased to support Lawrence and his team in building on this success.”

(Image: Tier)

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May 12, 2021

The Online Safety Bill: What is it and what does it mean?

UK
Social Media
onlinesafetybill
Internet
2 min
The government's Online Safety Bill was announced yesterday in the Queen's Speech, but what exactly is it?

New internet laws will be published today in the UK in the draft Online Safety Bill to protect children online and tackle some of the worst abuse on social media, including racist hate crimes.

The draft legislation, which was previously known as the Online Harms Bill, has been two years in the making. Some new additions to the bill include provisions to tackle online scams, such as romance fraud and fake investment opportunities.

 

What does it include?

The draft Bill includes changes to put an end to harmful practices and brings in a new era of accountability and protections for democratic debate, including:

  • New additions to strengthen people’s rights to express themselves freely online, while protecting journalism and democratic political debate in the UK.

  • Further provisions to tackle prolific online scams such as romance fraud, which have seen people manipulated into sending money to fake identities on dating apps.

  • Social media sites, websites, apps and other services hosting user-generated content or allowing people to talk to others online must remove and limit the spread of illegal and harmful content such as child sexual abuse, terrorist material and suicide content.

  • Ofcom will be given the power to fine companies failing in a new duty of care up to £18 million or ten per cent of annual global turnover, whichever is higher, and have the power to block access to sites.

  • A new criminal offence for senior managers has been included as a deferred power. This could be introduced at a later date if tech firms don’t step up their efforts to improve safety.

Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “Today the UK shows global leadership with our groundbreaking laws to usher in a new age of accountability for tech and bring fairness and accountability to the online world.

“We will protect children on the internet, crack down on racist abuse on social media, and through new measures to safeguard our liberties, create a truly democratic digital age.

The draft Bill will be scrutinised by a joint committee of MPs before a final version is formally introduced to Parliament.

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