Bird is acquiring fellow scooter startup Scoot, confirming TechCrunch’s earlier reporting. The acquisition will be used to scale “complementary missions” and replace car trips with micro-mobility options, according to a statement by Travis VanderZanden, founder and CEO of Bird.
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The price of the acquisition was not disclosed. Scoot had raised $47 million while a private company, according to TechCrunch, last valued at a $71 million. How large its most-recent venture round remains occluded.
Scoot will continue to function under its original branding, Bird said.
Some (including myself) thought the acquisition of Scoot, which has one of two licenses given to scooter companies to operate in San Francisco, would finally give Bird the green light to do the same. However San Francisco’s transport agency has reportedly told The Information’s Cory Weinberg that for Scoot to operate in SF under Bird, it would need separate approval from the agency.
Presuming that Bird knew that this would happen, the deal must have been made for reasons other than Bird operating in the San Francisco market.
Crunchbase News considers this deal as likely just the beginning of consolidation in the jam-packed scooter world. Consolidation seems likely due to slim margins, competitive markets, and regulatory moats (see above). On the economics point, Bird has undergone layoffs in the past.
Once this deal is finalized, the question becomes which pair of scooter companies will form the next combination.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias