MILAN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Helbiz, the market leader of urban micro-mobility with 29 licenses around the world, announced today that it secured a €3.5 million loan from Banca Progetto to help support the company’s continued expansion efforts and development projects across Italy. The latest round of financing will allow Helbiz to further strengthen its financial structure to drive the execution of its 2020-2022 expansion plan in Italy.
Through this new €3.5 million loan provided by Banca Progetto and counter-guaranteed by Mediocredito Centrale, Helbiz has also secured access to bank leverage for the first time. This 6-year loan will be directed towards future investments in e-scooters and e-bikes.
Previously, like other micro-mobility companies, Helbiz funded fleet expansion through shareholder equity and equity rounds because this innovative segment of the market was not yet considered bankable. To support previous expansion efforts, Helbiz raised approximately $31 million among institutional and professional investors in successive equity rounds to purchase micro-mobility devices.
In 2020, Helbiz grew its presence in the Italian market by 5X and achieved profitability at the operational level, obtaining access to credit for the first time.
Today, the micro-mobility industry is regulated and licenses are awarded to operators for a period ranging from 12 months to 5 years. Cash generation makes the business model sustainable, enabling companies to plan investments for development in the area.
"With this loan, Banca Progetto reaffirms its support for innovative, green entrepreneurial initiatives with an international perspective,” said Paolo Fiorentino, CEO of Banca Progetto. “We have the utmost confidence in the young management team at Helbiz who brings their energy, creativity, dedication and vision, while leading by example with initiatives that focus on environmental sustainability and profitability.”
"The possibility of access to bank financing that supports structural and functional investments for growth is driven by an excellent ROI in the capital,” said Giulio Profumo, CFO of Helbiz. “Starting today, our business model is assessed as consolidated and profitable. Helbiz Italia reached break-even last September, and both the company's economic metrics and volumes are improving incrementally.”
Profumo continued, "Our vehicle and operations financing model provides for two distinct funding channels - debt and equity, respectively. This enables us to better plan for both the acquisition of new vehicle fleets and the time profile of their depreciation. On this subject, we are also studying a form of asset-backed debt structure associated with scooters and electric bicycles to finance future investments.”
Profumo further commented, “The consolidation of the Helbiz business model is witnessed by a rationalization of the calls for tenders for licenses. Specifically, many cities around the world are issuing tenders for two or three licenses and sometimes only a single operator. At the same time, the trend of cities continuing to enable micro-mobility services is growing. This has enabled Helbiz to increase its levels of efficiency and market penetration, positioning us as one of the reference operators in Europe and the United States. We also experienced increased adoption across various markets due to the Coronavirus pandemic that has forced cities to open up micro-mobility services more quickly in order to offer an integrated alternative to other means of public transport.”
Helbiz is a technology company that offers micro urban mobility solutions with the goal of containing the rate of traffic increase. With over 200 employees, the company is a market leader in Italy and across Europe and continues to expand and hire local staff to manage its worldwide operations. Launched in 2015 and headquartered in New York City, the company operates scooters, e-bikes and electric mopeds in more than 20 cities around the world, including Washington DC, Alexandria, Arlington, Atlanta, Miami, Richmond, Milan and Rome. Helbiz Inc announced on February 9, 2021 a merger with SPAC GreenVision Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: GRNV) ("GreenVision"), resulting in it becoming the first micro-mobility company listed on Nasdaq.
Banca Progetto S.p.A., born in 2015 from the reorganization of Banca Popolare Lecchese following its purchase by the Californian fund Oaktree, operates in the household and business credit market also through the digital channel. With offices in Milan and Rome and a commercial network present throughout the country, Banca Progetto specializes in services for small and medium-sized Italian companies and private customers, in particular in Cessione del Quinto products for private employees, state employees, public employees, para-public employees and pensioners and in medium to long-term loans to SMEs.
For more information: www.helbiz.com/investors
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