Berlin-based micromobility operator Tier has acquired a 100pc share in Leipzig-based Nextbike, the company that runs Belfast’s public bike scheme. Terms of the financial transaction between the two companies have not been disclosed.
The deal will see Tier run the Belfast Bikes scheme, which was set up in 2015 and operated by Nextbike. There are currently 450 bikes available to rent from 45 stations. Last year, the bikes were updated to the current model, called the ‘Smartbike 2.0.’ The German-manufactured bikes have a solar-powered smart technology security feature which enables them to be easily located through GPS.
Tier is one of many micromobility start-ups currently trying to access the market in the Republic of Ireland. The Government is not expected to conclude legislation allowing the use of e-scooters until after Christmas. In the meantime, Tier’s competitors eyeing the Irish market include Zipp, Dott, Bolt, Zeus, Bleeper and Moby.
Tier already has a presence in 16 countries in Europe and the Middle East with market entries in Hungary, the Netherlands and Bahrain. It has invested heavily in e-bikes in recent months, with launches in London and Stockholm as part of the expansion of its e-bike service across six countries. In October, the start-up announced the closing of its $200m Series D funding round.
With Tier’s acquisition of Nextbike, the two will serve 400 cities with 250,000 vehicles. Nextbike, which was founded in 2004, has a presence in 28 countries and 300 cities. As well as Belfast, it has served other European cities including Budapest, Bilbao, Vienna and Gothenburg.
Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-Founder of Tier commented: “The acquisition of Nextbike – with its unrivalled experience and relationships across hundreds of cities – is a unique opportunity to take bikeshare to the next level, getting more people out of cars and offering the most sustainable mobility solution.”
Leonhard von Harrach, CEO of Nextbike said that his company and Tier “are united” in their “mission to make cities more liveable” tackling traffic congestion, pollution and noise.
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