Cowen advised the shareholders of nextbike, the European market leader in bike-sharing, on the sale of their shares to TIER Mobility (“TIER”), the leading provider of micro-mobility solutions. Berlin-based TIER is acquiring the shares in Leipzig-based bike-sharing company nextbike from the previous majority owner Co-Investor Partners, an equity investor focused on high-growth companies in the DACH region, and the other shareholders. The sale takes place in the course of a cash transaction. With the takeover, TIER aims to complete its portfolio with rental bikes across the country and further meet its claim of CO2 neutrality. nextbike has decided to merge with TIER to continue its mission and will benefit from TIER’s innovation power, especially in the field of e-mobility. TIER’s capital efficiency and strong financial backing, based on the recently closed Series D financing round of $200 million, will enable both companies to expand further together. Majority owner Co-Investor Partners has supported the company as an active investor since 2014 in financing growth as well as building structures.
The merger will create Europe’s largest and most diverse micro-mobility provider – with more than 250,000 vehicles in over 400 cities. nextbike operates bike rental systems mostly on behalf of local transport companies and has established a profitable business model for shared mobility over the past 16 years. Together with TIER, the public systems can now be supplemented with additional micro-mobility vehicles – all from a single source. The combination of bicycles, e-bikes, cargo bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds in free-floating hybrid and station-based sharing systems creates the industry’s first truly multimodal platform. This will make it much easier for users to choose the right means of transport for each route and forego their own car. Ultimately, this is the declared goal of both companies: to reduce the use of private cars and thus further promote the traffic turnaround.
Leonhard von Harrach, CEO of nextbike: “Since 2004, we have been sustainably mobilizing thousands of people every day. We have established bike sharing as a component of public transport worldwide. Together with TIER, we can reach even more people and encourage them to switch to one of our sustainable vehicles.
Dr. Ralph Eric Kunz, Partner at Co-Investor Partners: “Since our first investment in nextbike back in 2014, we as a growth financier have supported with great conviction nextbike’s corporate goal of establishing bike sharing as an integral part of public transport and developing a profitable business model for shared mobility. The fact that this is a reality today is due to the founders of nextbike, who were pioneers in the European mobility sharing market, renting out bikes even before apps existed. We are delighted that nextbike will now implement the next stage of their successful story through the merger with TIER. We would like to thank Cowen for their competent and trustworthy advice throughout the process.”
nextbike is the European bike-sharing market leader. True to the motto “We like to share”, the company mobilizes millions of people sustainably. The micro-mobility pioneer has been developing smart bike rental systems since 2004, now serving over 300 cities worldwide. As bike-sharing is becoming an elementary component of urban mobility, nextbike’s services make public transport even more environmentally friendly and complement it with the advantages of individual transport. In 2019, nextbike was awarded a score of 1.9 by German consumer organization Stiftung Warentest and was named the test winner among bike-sharing providers in Germany.
TIER Mobility is Europe’s leading provider of shared micro-mobility solutions with a mission to change mobility for the better. By making various electric vehicles such as e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds available for people to rent and operating a network of battery charging stations, TIER helps cities reduce their dependence on cars. Founded in 2018 by Lawrence Leuschner, Matthias Laug and Julian Blessin, TIER is headquartered in Berlin and currently operates in over 150 cities in 16 countries across Europe and the Middle East. Determined to provide the safest, fairest and most sustainable mobility solution, TIER has been carbon neutral since 2020.
Co-Investor Partners is an equity investor focused on high-growth companies in the DACH region with offices in Zurich, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin. Co-Investor Partners has been successfully entering into direct investments for more than 20 years and supports their development with an entrepreneurial, partnership-based self-image. EUR 15 to 30 million are invested per investment. Currently, the portfolio consists of eleven investments in different sectors such as Tech, HealthCare, eCommerce and eSports. In addition to nextbike, its successful investments include Mister Spex (exit through IPO), Fixatti (sale to the French chemicals group Arkema), Euroimmun (sold to the US laboratory specialist PerkinElmer) and Casualfood (sale to the Swiss company Orior AG).