Softbank has jumped onto the booming e-scooter market, leading a $250m (£190m) investment round in Berlin-based Tier.
Tier has grown rapidly since its inception in 2018, and now operates 60,000 e-scooters in more than 80 cities across 10 countries.
The latest funding takes its valuation to just under $1bn unicorn status, the Financial Times reported, meaning it has overtaken Lime to become the second most valuable e-scooter firm after Bird.
Tier, which has already turned a profit, said the cash injection would be used to extend its coverage in Europe and accelerate its expansion into new markets.
“After achieving profitability with our e-scooters, we have in place the foundations to lead the way towards seamless and sustainable mobility,” said Lawrence Leuschner, chief executive and co-founder of Tier.
“We are excited to partner with Softbank Vision Fund and will substantially benefit from their vast experience in building global leaders in mobility.”
Tier has positioned itself as an environmentally-friendly alternative to current urban transport methods, reducing car traffic, congestion and emissions.
The company is aiming to build a network of thousands of charging stations installed in cities across Europe to help power its e-scooters.
Softbank led the series C funding round through its Vision Fund 2, marking the first European investment for the Japanese conglomerate’s newest startup fund.
Existing investors including Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, Northzone, Goodwater Capital, White Star Capital, Novator and RTP Global also participated in the round.
“Micro-mobility fills a large gap left by traditional urban car usage and presents a viable alternative to legacy transit systems,” said Yanni Pipilis, managing partner at Softbank Investment Advisers.
“Tier has a proven track record in establishing long standing partnerships with cities and regulators, combined with a technology-led approach to develop leading customer propositions.”