Irish start-up Zeus secures funding from German government for electric scooter project

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Zeus launched its e-scooters in Germany in 2020 and its founder hopes the project will ‘supercharge’ innovation ahead of a planned Irish launch.

Irish start-up Zeus Scooters has received a funding injection of € 238,000 from a German government fund for technology and innovation.

Zeus launched its electric scooter services in Germany last year and now operates in more than 20 locations there. The new funding will be provided by the country’s Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure as part of the investment plans for the development of micromobility services.

Germany is one of the most mature European micromobility markets and its aim is to further mainstream the use of electric scooters.

The project, which will run until 2024, investigates how micromobility services can be integrated, controlled and managed in a city using data.

Zeus will join project stakeholders including Siemens, HaCon Ingenieurgesellschaft, the German city of Regensburg and its transport association, and R-Tech. The program will create at least 10 jobs in technology, products and operations.

This is a huge blow for Zeus, who is one of several micromobility companies hoping to roll out their services in Ireland once legislation allowing the use of electric scooters is passed.

According to the company’s CEO, Damian Young, the work undertaken in Germany will help “supercharge” innovation in the company ahead of a potential launch in Ireland next year.

Young founded Zeus Scooters in 2019 and now has a fleet of around 4,000 three-wheeled electric scooters in 30 cities in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Italy and Croatia.

Earlier this year, the company announced a recruitment drive to fuel its expansion into the Nordic market, including 15 Dublin-based jobs.

Zeus is also preparing for an upcoming launch in Malaysia, which will be its first step into the Asian market.

The company is backed by a number of investors, including seasoned entrepreneur Colm Menton, the former Managing Director of Europcar Ireland, which he sold for more than 25 million euros in 2016. Menton led a fundraising of 2 euros in the start-up in January of this year.

Zeus is not the only Irish micromobility innovator currently on the scene. Competitor Zipp has partnered with researchers at University College Dublin in an effort to improve health and safety standards for electric scooters, while Tier is participating in a research-driven trial at Dublin City University.

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