Venture

Charting Bird And Lime’s Rapid Growth

It’s been a busy few months for American scooter companies. The two most famous startups in the space, Bird and Lime, have seen setbacks in locales as tech-centric as San Francisco and as collegiate as Providence.

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But no speed bump has dislodged the two firms from their paths of quick growth. Indeed, the two companies most famous for capital raises and being banned while attempting to copy the Uber playbook, have each crossed new ridership milestones.

Lime, which began life as a bikesharing company ala Ofo and Mobike, said on August 30th that it crossed the 10 million ride mark. That figure is now 11.5 million per every outlet. Bird itself just crossed the 10 million ride mark, according to itself.

First, we need to chart it. Per our prior agglomeration of the two firm’s growth, we present this updated chart:

Now let’s do some bubble-nomics:

  • Lime: $1.1 billion valuation / 11.5 million rides = $95.65 in valuation per served ride;
  • Bird: $2 billion valuation / 10 million rides = $200 in valuation per served ride.

Previously, we scribbled some back-of-the-envelop-mathmagic to come up with an estimate of $2.50 per Bird and Lime ride given their pricing and how far the nearest Blue Bottle really is. That lets us do even more fake math to get a super-loose revenue multiple:

  • Lime: $1.1 billion / (11.5 million rides * $2.5) = $38.26 in valuation per dollar of accrued revenue;
  • Bird: $2 billion / (10 million rides * $2.5) = $80 in valuation per dollar of accrued revenue;

Given the incredibly recent launch of each company (Bird launched in September 2017; Lime launched in January of 2017, but didn’t release scooters until early 2018), those revenue-per-valuation-dollar metrics are essentially revenue multiple cognates, though that gets stretched every day that passes.

What we can say today is  what we could say before: Lime and Bird are quickly growing businesses that are not valued, yet, on their revenue in any material sense. That’s true of all venture-backed companies to some degree, but Bird and Lime have certainly more work ahead of them than most to grow into their already-set valuations, let alone whatever their next figures are when they both inevitably raise again.

After all, scooters are hard.

Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias