Bird is a micro-mobility startup that lets customers share e-scooters parked in sidewalks, in a way becoming Uber for e-scooters.
Started in 2017 by a former Uber and Lyft executive, Bird initially started by dropping electric scooters onto the sidewalks of major cities and let the customers remotely unlock and rent them using their app.
This model grabbed many eyes and led to Bird becoming one of the fastest startups to reach $1billion. This model was so popular in Silicon Valley that it was picked up by Uber and Lyft, only to drop it a few years later. In 2018, it was valued at around $3 billion.
The journey hence has been difficult for Bird. In 2019, it had an adjusted EBITDA loss of $226 million followed by a loss of $183 million in 2020. It forecasts its loss to be $96 million for this year.
It has announced plans recently to go public via a SPAC deal valuing it at $2.3 billion, about 20% less than its valuation peak in 2018.
Bird launched its Fleet Management Program last year whereby local entrepreneurs sign up to manage and maintain a fleet of e-scooters on Bird’s behalf. Bird encourages Fleet Managers to purchase fleets of e-scooters from Bird, with the company providing financing according to Motley Fool. This program makes it the McDonald’s of e-scooter sharing. Bird believes this initiative to improve its unit economics.