Lime to invest €10m in Irish operations as it readies e-scooter services

Company is one of more than 20 micromobility operators hoping to run services here

Lime said the investment will be made over the next 18 months to help launch and run safe and successful services

Lime said the investment will be made over the next 18 months to help launch and run safe and successful services

 

Shared micromobility operator Lime is to invest €10 million in its Irish operations following the Government’s approval of draft legislation to legalise e-scooters on Irish roads.

The California-headquartered company, which is backed by Uber, established operations locally three years ago. It currently provides e-scooter services in more than 200 cities globally, including London, Paris, New York and Berlin.

It said the investment will be made over the next 18 months to help launch and run safe and successful services in Ireland. In addition to offering e-scooters to rent, Lime is also aiming to provide e-bikes as well.

The company said that if it selected to operate services in the Republic it will offer discounts for key workers, students and jobseekers, as well as for those who wear helmets while on the move.

The company said it will be ramping up its presence in Dublin in the coming months, and taking on more staff locally.

Uber led a $170 million (€ 146 million) funding round for Lime last year with other backers including Google parent Alphabet and Bain Capital Ventures. Business Insider reported last month that the company, which is expected to float shortly, it is in talks to raise fresh funding of up to $200 million, which would value it at about $2 billion.

Local players

Since its founding in early 2017, Lime has raised about $935 million in venture funding. It is one of more than 20 micromobility operators interested in running shared e-scooter schemes locally. Others include fellow international companies such as Dott, Tier, Voi, Bird, Bolt and Superpedestrian, as well as local players like Zipp Mobility, Bleeper and Zeus.

The Road Traffic and Roads Bill, which will include provisions for e-scooter usage, was approved by Cabinet on Tuesday. It was originally expected that legislation allowing for e-scooters on Irish roads would be passed before last Christmas. It is now hoped the Bill, which is now due to go before the Oireachtas, will be passed before the end of this year.

The Republic is one of the last European countries to legalise for e-scooter use.

On Wednesday an AA Ireland survey found that nearly 50 per cent of those polled support making e-scooters legal for use in Ireland, 65 per cent said insurance should be required when using the vehicles, 41 per cent said tax should be required and 54 per cent said users should require a licence.

Business Today

Get the latest business news and commentarySIGN UP HERE