Bird continues to face challenges

Bird sold a vision of micro-mobility and got me excited. I thought it would really worked out initially. In the next year I saw their vehicles trashed into lakes, vandalized and I encountered one that isn’t functional. I realized this wasn’t going to work out. Not in Oakland and San Francisco at least.

Bird Stock Plummets After Electric Scooter Firm Gives Weak Guidance

Bird rents electric scooters and bikes in over 400 cities in more than 30 countries. It also sells its micro-electric vehicles to consumers. Last year, those hardware sales made up 9% of total revenue.

In the December quarter, Bird lost an adjusted $21.5 million on sales of $54 million. Wall Street was modeling a loss of $31 million on sales of $50.8 million.

For the full-year, Bird lost an adjusted $66.9 million on sales of $205 million. Analysts were projecting Bird to lose an adjusted $77 million on sales of $201.9 million in 2021, according to FactSet.

In 2021, Bird’s sales rose 117% year over year due to easy comparisons to the Covid-hampered 2020. Compared with 2019, sales were up 60%.

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Lime raises $500M and public plans

Lime raises over $500 million, confirms plans to take its electric scooter company public.

Now, Lime says that its most recent funding round was oversubscribed, with $418 million in debt financing led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Fidelity Management & Research, Uber, and certain funds managed by Highbridge Capital Management. The company also received a $105 million senior secured term loan facility from a private equity group at UBS O’Connor. (These bank loans are typically made to companies that have below investment-grade credit ratings.)

Going public would certainly help raise cash in the near term, but it also carries big risks. Lime’s main rival, Bird, recently went public via a SPAC merger that valued the Santa Monica-based company at $2.3 billion. That deal just closed, and as soon as they were publicly listed, shares in the newly merged company fell sharply.

But while Bird relies on its business model of sending fleets of scooters to small operators to handle deployment and charging, Lime will likely rely on its scale and global status to attract investor interest. The company claims to be the top scooter operator in the US and Europe. It hit 250 million rides over the summer (recall it was at 200 million a year ago) and recently rolled out the fourth-generation version of its electric scooter.

The Verge

I am a Lime user and I can’t wait to see them go public. We are still not seeing financial filings to judge whether they have a sound business model.