The new entrant in transportation options is the dockless electric scooters and the race to deploy these scooters in the US is accelerating. These companies are transforming US cities. The newest startup that could join the unicorn club is Bird. The electric scooter rental startup raised a massive new funding round, which values the company at $1 billion.
Dockless two-wheelers have blanketed the streets, that the regulators are struggling to limit the surge in these bike programs. Regulations proposed in several cities this year puts limitations on companies on the numbers of bikes it can operate. They fear that these dockless rental bikes pose safety hazards to pedestrians. Despite these challenges, investors are betting on these companies.
As startups, Lime and Spin, rush to raise money, Bird races to be the first electric scooter unicorn. Launched in 2017, Bird, often referred to as the Uber of Scooters raised $150 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital. This substantial new funding round values the company at $1 billion, according to Bloomberg.
As startups, Lime and Spin, rush to raise money, Bird races to be the first electric scooter unicorn.
During the recent funding round held in March, Bird raised $115 million. This quick round of fundraising indicates that the “bike-share war” is escalating in the US. Bird bikes that can travel up to 15 mph, needs the users to download the mobile app that helps in locating the nearest scooter and also unlock it. By the end of this year, Bird aims to be in 50 US cities.
This aggressive expansion of dockless bikes has met with resistance from the public as well as local authorities. Bird has even run into some legal cases after its multiple accidents including the latest May 14 crash. In Nashville, the Metro Department of Law seeks an injunction for Bird to immediately remove all its scooters. This is the harshest move by the city to curb the expansion of dockless bikes. But that doesn’t take away the fact that the Bird is indeed flying high.