European micromobility startup Reby acquired by PE player House of Lithium for $100M

·2 min read

Founded in 2018, European micromobility startup Reby took an interesting path. It deployed e-scooters in the city of Zaragoza (Spain), during the COVID-19 pandemic, but also created a SaaS-oriented "MaaS" (mobility-as-a-service) platform. It then won 18 agreements with public administrations for e-mobility across Italy and Spain, slightly under the radar compared with large, well-funded players like Tier, Voi and Bolt. In other words, without needing to become a large player, it secured the kinds of European municipal licenses coveted by micromobility players.

Founded by four entrepreneurs (Pep Gómez, Kiran Thomas, Cristina Castillo and Guillem Pagès), Reby has now been acquired by House of Lithium, a Canadian private equity firm, which was already a large shareholder in the company. The firm invests in private and publicly listed entities involved in or connected with the electric mobility value chain. The transaction is priced at $100 million. The company's founder, Pep Gómez, with the rest of the management team, will continue managing Reby. The company says it closed the year with approximately $15 million of revenue with approximately $3 million EBITDA.

Reby had raised a total of $17.9 million from EXOR, 14W Ventures, Neo Fund, Fuel Capital, Hard Yaka, Day One Ventures and some angels such as like Simon Rothman (Founder of eBay Motors and board member to Tesla and Lyft), Marcelo Gigliani (APAX Digital) and Hugo Arevalo (Jobandtalent).

In a statement, Kevin Taylor, chairman of House of Lithium, said:

Combining Reby's leading IoT technology and proven ride-sharing business model with House of Lithium's manufacturing, distribution, e-commerce and retail assets will contribute to creating an end-to-end mobility platform to maximize top-line opportunities and bottom-line results.

Reby made a point of manufacturing its own vehicles, eschewing Chinese-made scooters; operating only under exclusivity with city hall agreements; and financing vehicle investments largely with asset-backed debt.

Gomez added:

The financial capacity and capital markets expertise of the House of Lithium team makes this a great partnership with the extra power that Reby needs to continue its growth … The time for EV companies burning money with artificial growth is over, giving us a massive opportunity to win in an untapped market focusing on infrastructure regulation and R&D development in security and public space occupation, which is imperative for cities.

Reby is the second venture for Gomez, who at 19 years old was the sole founder of the Fever experiences app, which has raised $298.8 million to date and was backed by Goldman Sachs, Accel Partners and Rakuten, among others.

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