Electric scooter ride-sharing company Bird is expanding beyond the US for the first time. In its latest announcement, the startup unveiled its plans to run a pilot program in Paris and Tel Aviv with just 50-100 dockless scooters. The company first plans to move into Paris and the expansion is said to begin from August 2. In a couple of weeks, Bird scooters will also be made available in Tel Aviv.
Bird, which was launched in September 2017, has been rapidly expanding into the US cities. The startup referred to as the Uber of Scooters competes with Lime and Spin in the country. Recently, the California-based company raised $300 million in a new funding round that increased its valuation to $2 billion. Within a short span of time, Bird joined the unicorn club. By the end of 2018, the company aims to expand its operations in 50 new US cities.
Investors are betting big on the bike-sharing companies. This market is currently overcrowded. The recent applications filed at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency included Uber and Lyft. The two ride-sharing giants will vie for permits along with the existing players Lime, Bird, and Spin.
Now, that the US cities are being invaded with dockless bikes, Bird plans to expand its business into international markets. In Paris, Bird dockless scooters will be launched in top three districts. A pilot program in Tel Aviv will commence in a few weeks, with a pilot through Tel Aviv University.
Travis VanderZanden, CEO of Bird said, “We are honored to be able to offer our solution to Paris, Tel Aviv, and — down the road — to more cities as we work toward our goal of getting cars off of the road and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.”
But Bird is not the first US electric scooter company to expand outside its home country. Its rival Lime launched its bikes in Europe towards the end of 2017. Lime had launched 500 bikes in Frankfurt and Zurich in December and since then it has expanded to Berlin and Bremen, Germany. This year in June, Lime launched its bikes even in Paris. Lime is looking at a much larger international expansion and plans to expand into 25 new markets by the end of this year.