Berlin-based battery swap station company Swobbee raised €5.9 million in its Series A funding round. The funding round was led by EIT organization InnoEnergy which joined Swobbee as a strategic investor.
EIT InnoEnergy and an existing investor invested just under three million euros each. With a total of 6.5 million dollars – or 5.9 million euros – Swobbee wants to expand its network of battery exchange stations throughout Germany and two other European countries.
EIT InnoEnergy’s support is not only financial, but will also help it with its “special know-how in creating and scaling green technology start-ups as well as its extensive international network”, and will closely support Swobbee in its commercial development and its entry into new markets. .
Jennifer Dungs, Head of Transport and Mobility at EIT InnoEnergy, said: “Micromobility plays a crucial role in transport transition in urban areas. It is therefore all the more important to set up a complete network of high-performance charging and exchange stations for all types of vehicles. With its technology platform open to manufacturers, Swobbee has what it takes to take an exceptional position in the market.
The battery swap model for Sowbbee is Taiwanese supplier Gogoro, which created a de facto standard for swappable batteries for electric mopeds in Taiwan and is now expanding to China and India. Here, Thomas Duscha, CEO and co-founder of Swobbee also sees differences: “Gogoro is a highly vertically integrated model with electric mopeds, but as we know, the electric moped will never be the number one mode of transport in Europe. , so we believe in small mobility like electric bikes, cargo bikes and scooters. Here, Swobbee does not want to use a uniform battery size, but rather offers different batteries in its changing stations as an open manufacturer system.
Swobbee started with B2B pilot projects mainly using synergies in last mile delivery micromobility vehicles, such as DPD, Hermes and DHL. But the Berlin startup is also working with Berlin-based company Tier to help with Tier’s own battery swap stations with backend support. Now, with this new funding round and a recent series of new partnerships, the company has the potential to move into the B2C micromobility segments. dusha said Tech Crunch, which Swobbee recently signed with one of the “top three” micromobility operators as a customer, while declining to divulge more specific information. He only said that the nature of this partnership would be very similar to Swobbee’s deal with Tier.
Now, in 2022, Swobbee is aiming not only to expand its customer fleet, but also to reach average consumers with personal vehicles, more like the Gogoro model. “This year we are piloting with the European Union a B2C model where we would like to find out if swappable batteries or battery sharing services could be a thing for European customers,” Duscha said. “We know that in Asia, especially East Asia, it pretty much works, but we need to see if it works in Europe as well.”
Just last month, Swobee agreed to collaborate with US-Chinese company Segway-Ninebot, which manufactures a wide range of micromobility vehicles and delivery robots. For Swobbee, the cooperation with the Chinese-American company opens up a “huge market”, as Thomas Duscha, CEO and co-founder of Swobbee, said of the collaboration at the time.
Swobbee also collaborates with the German companies Akku Vision and AES. Akku Vision is a manufacturer of high-quality e-bike batteries founded in 2011 in Franconia, which are sold under the own brand E-Bike-Vision. The batteries are compatible with drive systems from Bosch, Yamaha, Panasonic and Gazelle. AES, in turn, is a manufacturer of lithium iron phosphate batteries based in Glinde near Hamburg. For eight years now, the company has been equipping Deutsche Post’s e-bikes with in-house developed LiFePO4 batteries. AES manufactures both its own battery systems and custom battery systems for a wide variety of e-bike and cargo bike applications.
Batteries from GreenPack, Okai, Torrot and Kumpan, which are used in e-bikes, e-mopeds and e-scooters, can already be exchanged at Swobbee battery exchange stations. Tobias Breyer, CMO and co-founder of Swobbee, says these partnerships contribute to “our goal of making Swobbee the central service station for micro-mobility and establishing a dense network of charging and redemption stations in urban areas”.
Now, Swobbe says that as an investor and strategic partner, EIT InnoEnergy, complements Swobbee’s growing ecosystem. “We are very pleased to have such a renowned and globally active partner on our side with EIT InnoEnergy. This is not only a confirmation that we are on the right track, but also the starting point to be able to onboard other investors as we now begin to evolve,” says Duscha.
dusha said Tech Crunch that this Series A brings Swobbee to a pre-money valuation of around €30 million, or around $33 million. Later this year, the Swobbee is aiming to lift a double-digit A+ round. In this future funding round, the Berlin startup intends to add another strategic partner, such as a large pan-European utility company or even, as Tech Crunch writes, a car manufacturer from the East with the ambition to expand into new markets.