January 10, 2024

Scooter startups Tier and Dott agree to merge

Dott founder Henri Moissinac will head up the new organisation

Mimi Billing and Amy Lewin

4 min read

European scooter startups Tier and Dott are set to merge, the companies have announced.

Dott founder Henri Moissinac will take the CEO role at the new organisation, while Tier founder and CEO Lawrence Leuschner will move to a non-executive chair position. 

German publication Manager Magazin reports that the merger will value the new company at just €150m — a huge drop from Tier’s 2021 valuation of €2bn. Tier tells Sifted it is not able to disclose the financial details of the agreement, but that the deal is expected to go through in two months — subject to several conditions being fulfilled. 

Existing shareholders are investing €60m in equity into the new joint entity. The round is being led by Tier’s largest backer Mubadala Capital and Dott’s main investor Sofina, and also includes capital from Estari, M&G, Prosus Ventures, Novator and White Star Capital. Northzone (an early investor in Tier) and EQT Ventures (an early investor in Dott) have not participated. 


Both companies have been struggling to reach profitability; announcing layoffs of 22% of its workforce in November last year, Tier CEO Lawrence Leuschner said on LinkedIn that the company had improved its EBITDA from -63% in 2022 to -15% in 2023, but still needed to bring its cost base down. Dott also “implemented efficiency plans” last year, it tells Sifted.

“The new joint entity will be well positioned to be EBITDA profitable in 2024,” Tier tells Sifted — but not without further layoffs. “As integration work progresses to fully combine Tier and Dott into one entity, it is of course possible that further efficiencies are identified, including making roles redundant,” the company adds. 

The long hunt for a buyer

Tier has been in acquisition talks for months. In May 2023, Sifted reported it was in advanced discussions with Tallinn-based mobility rival Bolt. Tier has also been in talks with Lime and Voi, according to sources close to the company. 

According to two sources, all three companies turned down Tier because it failed to share sufficient financial documentation, especially annual reports — and has €100m in debt. “It was just too much risk,” one person close to one of the other companies tells Sifted.

“I was somewhat surprised to hear about the deal,” says one investor; Tier is three times bigger than Dott, which might make it hard to integrate the two companies. 

To date, Tier has raised $660m in equity and debt from investors including Mubadala, Northzone, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, White Star Capital and Speedinvest. Dott has raised €210m from investors including Felix Capital, EQT Ventures, Naspers and Prosus Ventures.

​​Together the companies generate combined revenues of €250m and facilitate over 125m trips a year in more than 20 countries, Tier tells Sifted.

But they have some significant market overlaps: both companies — which operate e-bikes as well as e-scooters — currently have operations in Brussels, Paris, Lyon, Milan, London, Warsaw and Madrid, amongst other cities.

What happens next

The joint entity plans to continue to operate both the Tier and the Dott brands. 

Dott’s cofounder Maxim Romain will take the COO role, while Tier’s Alex Gayer will take the CFO position. 

The merger leaves the European market to three companies: American mobility company Lime; Swedish scooter startup Voi; and Tier/Dott. Sources close to Voi say it’s good news for the company: “There will be one less competitor, now.” They add that the benefits a merger will bring Tier and Dott won’t be in place for a few years and in the meantime “there will be chaos”. 


Tough year for micromobility

2023 was not kind to the once much-hyped micromobility sector. Dutch e-bike maker VanMoof declared bankruptcy in the Netherlands and the UK in July and was later acquired by British technology company McLaren Applied. Swedish electric truck maker Volta Trucks filed for bankruptcy in October, Berlin-based e-scooter startup unu declared bankruptcy in November and US giant Bird filed for bankruptcy in December. 

Paris banned scooters in the summer — forcing Tier, Dott and competitor Lime (which each had 5,000 vehicles in the city) to leave. In November, Berlin announced plans to cut down the number of scooters permitted in the city centre from March 2024.

Correction, January 11: Naspers was previously listed as a shareholder in the deal. Prosus Ventures has been added as a named shareholder in the deal. 

Mimi Billing

Mimi Billing is Sifted's Europe editor. She covers the Nordics and healthtech, and can be found on X and LinkedIn

Amy Lewin

Amy Lewin is Sifted’s editor and cohost of Startup Europe — The Sifted Podcast , and writes Up Round, a weekly newsletter on VC. Follow her on X and LinkedIn