One of the rumored scooter mega-rounds has touched down.
Today Bird, one of the leading players in the burgeoning American scooter sector, announced that it closed a $300 million round of capital led by Sequoia. Sequoia, of course, is in the process of closing a simply staggering amount of capital for a growth fund.
The Bird round comes amidst rumors that arch-rival Lime is working to secure $250 million of its own. And as Crunchbase News has reported previously, the two firms are now chasing valuations in the billions. Bird may be worth as much as $2 billion following the $300 million infusion, though its current worth remains occluded for now.
The scale of capital each firm is raising is staggering, but it’s worth reminding ourselves why Bird and Lime need so much capital:
- The companies have stiff operating and capital expenses. Not only do the two companies have the usual costs related to hiring and paying talent on the West Coast, but they have to spend heavily to both buy scooters to deploy and pay non-employees to charge them at night. That means capital raised doesn’t just sit in the bank; it goes towards new scooters for new markets.
- Bird and other startups in the space are entering new markets at something like a compressed ridesharing cadence. That is not cheap.
So $300 million for Bird will be remembered as either something brilliant or something top-of-market-stupid. I struggle to find a middle option.
We’ll have more when Lime announces its quarter billion dollars of new capital, which I suspect won’t be too far off.
Oh, Bird and Lime, please get into a contest of announcing new ridership milestones. We’d appreciate it externally.