Irish start-up Zeus gets German government funding for e-scooter project

Irish start-up Zeus Scooters has received a €238,000 funding injection from a German government technology and innovation fund.

Zeus launched its e-scooter services in Germany last year and now operates in more than 20 locations there. The new funding will be delivered through the country’s ministry of transport and digital infrastructure as part of plans to invest in the development of micromobility services.

Germany is one of Europe’s most mature micromobility markets and it aims to move the use of e-scooters further into the mainstream.

The project, which will last from now until 2024, is looking at how micromobility services can be integrated, controlled and managed in a city using data.

Zeus will join stakeholders on the project including Siemens, HaCon Ingenieurgesellschaft, the German city of Regensburg and its transport association, and R-Tech. The scheme will create at least 10 jobs across technology, product and operations.

It is a huge coup for Zeus, which is one of several micromobility companies hoping to roll out its services in Ireland once legislation allowing the use of e-scooters is passed.

According to the company’s CEO, Damian Young, the work undertaken in Germany will help “supercharge” innovation at the company ahead of a potential Irish launch next year.

Young founded Zeus Scooters in 2019 and it now has a fleet of around 4,000 three-wheeled e-scooters in 30 cities across Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Croatia.

Earlier this year, the company announced a hiring drive to fuel its expansion into the Nordic market, including 15 jobs based in Dublin.

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Zeus is also gearing up for an upcoming launch in Malaysia, which will be its first move into the Asian market.

The company is backed by a number of investors including veteran entrepreneur Colm Menton, the former chief executive of Europcar Ireland, which he sold for more than €25m in 2016. Menton led a €2 funding round in the start-up back in January of this year.

Zeus is not the only Irish micromobility innovator currently on the scene. Competitor Zipp has teamed up with researchers at University College Dublin in an effort to improve health and safety standards for e-scooters, while Tier is taking part in a research-focused trial at Dublin City University.

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