Axios Pro: Climate Deals

November 21, 2022

Axios Pro Exclusive Content

🦃 Happy Monday, and welcome to Thanksgiving week! Let's dig in.

1 big thing: E-scooter investors dump the U.S. for Europe

Data: PitchBook; Chart: Axios Visuals

Parisians are trading their vélos for scooters électrique: The investors who once buoyed America's e-scooter and bike-share companies are moving their capital to Europe, Alan reports.

Why it matters: America's cities aren't exactly known for being bike- and scooter-friendly. But micromobility investment in Europe has overtaken even Asia — underscoring how big this boom is.

Driving the news: Investors this year have poured more than $1 billion into e-scooter and bike-share services in Europe, per PitchBook data.

  • Investment in the U.S., by comparison, has amounted to just $632 million.
  • Deal count in the U.S. is also less than half that in Europe.

Meanwhile: Micromobility investment in Asia has plummeted.

  • The continent drew 60% of global investment in the sector before the pandemic — but barely 10% since 2020, per a McKinsey report this summer.

What's happening: Policy and market conditions are driving the shift.

  • European leaders — true to form — have taken assertive steps to make cyclists and riders feel safer, such as by installing protected bike lanes.
  • European micromobility companies are generally newer than those in Asia, and they are in a period of rapid growth and acquisitions.
  • Finally, a growing number of building-specific bans on e-bikes and e-scooters — due to deadly battery fires — is putting a damper on the U.S. market.

Of note: E-scooters are the most popular mode of micromobility, and retail sales of the vehicles are booming in Europe. France, for example, saw a 42% jump in e-scooter sales from 2020 to 2021.

👀 What we're watching: Helbiz, a micromobility provider based in NYC, this morning announced it’s cutting staff by 15%.

  • Helbiz’s stock late this morning was trading at about $0.18 per share on Nasdaq — down from a peak of $19.48 in September following its SPAC merger, as Megan has reported.
  • Meanwhile, one of the most prominent e-scooter providers in the U.S., Bird, last week told the SEC that it had overstated its revenue the past two years, per The Verge.
  • Bird in September formalized its removal of Travis VanderZanden as CEO, though he remains chairman of the board.

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