TDK Ventures has taken part in a round for electric bicycle rental startup Wheels sized at more than $50m, nine months after it raised $37m.
US-based shared electric mobility services provider Wheels has received more than $50m in a funding round that included TDK Ventures, the recently launched corporate venturing subsidiary of electronics manufacturer TDK Corporation.
Venture capital firm DBL Partners led the round, which followed $37m in equity financing from Tenaya Capital, Bullpen Capital, Crosscut Capital, 3L Capital, angel investor Naval Ravikant and several unnamed strategic investors in January this year.
Wheels operates a network of dockless electric bicycles that are currently available in San Diego, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and Scottsdale. The e-bikes feature a modular design and removable batteries in order to make their maintenance more sustainable.
Users locate and rent the bicycles through a mobile app after confirming that they hold a valid driver’s licence. The company will use the cash injection to expand both in the US and internationally, and is particularly keen on Europe.
Nicolas Sauvage, managing director of TDK Ventures, said: “This is a great complement to our portfolio. Wheels is about moving people around and our first investment, Starship Technologies, is about moving things around.
“With this inside view across the spectrum of the micromobility industry, we will be able to better identify new trends early, including changing regulations, so we can apply our learnings to create solutions in TDK’s roadmap that are intersecting with these emerging and meaningful new applications.”