Picture: SUPPLIED
Picture: SUPPLIED

Naspers has made another investment in Dott, a European company that offers commuters shared electric scooters and bikes for short-distance travel.

In December 2018, the “micro-mobility company” announced it had raised an initial investment of €20m (R316m), co-led by European venture-capital fund EQT Ventures and Naspers, with participation from other investors in Europe.

Dott, which started introducing its “eScooters” and “eBikes” in  European cities in 2019, said on Thursday it had received commitments for a €30m series-A funding round.

The investments were again co-led by EQT Ventures and Naspers’s ventures arm.

The funding would be used to “accelerate the go-to-market for Dott’s custom-designed new products”, to invest in services including repair workshops, and to launch in new cities, Dott said.

“We’ve shown in the first months that we can offer a true alternative in European cities, taking the lead both in terms of sustainability and best user experience,” said Maxim Romain, CEO and co-founder of Dott.

The company, whose eScooters were launched in Brussels, Paris, Lyon and Milan between January and June 2019, had seen “great results in Paris”, Romain said.

“The dense nature of cities in Europe is ideal for e-scooter and e-bike sharing for short commutes — most trips are much more efficiently covered than with a car,” said Martin Tschopp, COO of Naspers Ventures.

“Dott has experienced good traction in its first few months of operation and is leading with a local, sustainable and safety-first mindset, which is appealing to Naspers,” Tschopp said.

Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk told Business Day in 2018 the internet group had previously looked into the Uber-dominated ride-hailing market, but decided not to invest in that segment as it had probably already missed the boat.

hedleyn@businesslive.co.za