Interview with Fredrik Hjelm, Co-founder and CEO at E-Scooter Rental Company: Voi Technology

I lived in Moscow for three years, when I was in the Swedish army. When I was there, I was appalled at the horrendous traffic congestion in the city, which led to pollution and ill health. It would take two hours to make even a short journey by car. I became fascinated by the future of cities and first started developing businesses in the sharing economy. Later I realised I wanted to shake up transport systems and our reliance on the car, and it came to me that e-scooters were the perfect way to do this.
E-scooter start-up VOI Technology raises $85M in Series B - Green Car  Congress

What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

Get people around you who can challenge your thinking.

Think big – I want to reshape cities so we can live happier, more fulfilling lives. I don’t think it’s naive to have big ambitions. My army background has taught me that the details matter. Logistics, planning every detail, making sure you have a fall-back position – these things are hugely important when you are running organisations with lots of assets and lots of people. Having absolute focus and clarity on the longer-term goals, as well as the immediate priorities, is a balancing act that all entrepreneurs need.


What can we hope to see from Voi in the future?

We expect to launch in more cities across Europe. Change takes time and there has been trepidation about e-scooters. We understand that and we respect it but are seeing an increasing number of local authorities realising the potential of e-scooters to change how we move around in urban areas.

Next year we will bring our latest e-scooter model – Voiager 4 – to many more cities across Europe and we hope that other countries including Ireland and the Netherlands will join the micro mobility revolution. Personally, I want to see more progress on Vision Zero – which is our commitment to have zero accidents from e-scooters. I am confident that there will be some exciting technological developments that can help us. Hand in hand with that, we will continue to lower the environmental impact of our whole operation as this is fundamental to our vision of shaping cities for the future.