E-scooter company Lime has a strong expansion plan in the Middle East

Mobility startup Lime is planning to roll out electric scooter and electric scooter rentals across the Middle East within the next two years.

Lime’s CEO, Wayne Ting, told CNBC’s Dan Murphy that the company is running a small test in Dubai and it plans to have it fully operational in the next few months.

“Our vision is to invest in the Gulf countries,” Ting said in an interview in Dubai on Thursday. “I wanted to bring something more permanent to Dubai, Abu Dhabi. But that’s right when investing in the area.”

A man rides an e-scooter Lime in Berlin, Germany on June 21, 2019.

Thomas Trutschel | Photothek via Getty Images

The San Francisco-based company raised $523 million last month ahead of its expected stock exchange listing. The funding round was led by UAE-based investment firm ADQ but included other investors including venture firm Alphabet GV, formerly Google Ventures.

Ting said the Middle East region is young, dynamic and forward-looking, adding that the region has a huge commitment to sustainability.

While some of the more than 30 countries in the Middle East have made sustainability commitments, the region is also home to some of the most oil-rich countries in the world including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq and Kuwait.

On the Saudi side, Ting said the country wants to invest in the future, adding that the new city of Neom is particularly interesting.

“When you tell people who think about Neom, they’re saying, how do we build a car-free city?” Ting said. “This is a huge core to our mission, which is to build a transportation system different from today.”

“When you talk to young people, they know from looking at their own carbon footprint that one of the biggest sources is from vehicles and they’re asking to change their own behaviour. I look at places with young, dense populations who are committed to the environment, those are the perfect markets for what we’re building.”

Lime launches in 80 new cities by 2021, and Ting claims to be the largest micromobility company in the world right now, ahead of Bird, Tier, Elephant and Jump.

The company intends to go public at some point in 2022, Ting said, adding that the size and scale of the company means it’s ready. “Whether it makes sense or not, we’ll look at market conditions,” he said, adding that it could be a SPAC or a traditional IPO. E-scooter company Lime has a strong expansion plan in the Middle East

Sarah Ridley

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