BERLIN (Reuters) - Berlin-based e-scooter operator TIER Mobility has bought bike-sharing firm Nextbike to create Europe's largest provider of shared lightweight vehicles, the companies said on Monday.
The deal, which will bring rentable bicycles, e-bicycles, e-scooters, e-mopeds and cargo bikes into one network, could mark the first big acquisition in a likely period of consolidation in the highly fragmented industry, with smaller players getting snapped up over the next 12 months.
Earlier this year, U.S. urban mobility firm Lime raised $523 million from investors to scale up production and announced a stock market listing in 2022, while Estonian start-up Bolt launched e-scooter services in nine German cities.
The companies said combining Nextbike's infrastructure and TIER's financial power, bolstered by a recent financing round of $200 million that brought TIER's valuation to $2 billion, should allow them to operate in 400 cities with 250,000 vehicles.
"The acquisition of Nextbike - with its unrivalled experience and relationships across hundreds of cities - is a unique opportunity to take bikeshare to the next level," TIER Chief Executive Lawrence Leuschner said in a statement.
TIER and Nextbike declined to give financial details of the transaction.
(Reporting by Zuzanna Szymanska; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)