Startups

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad (Scooter) World

What has two wheels and might be worth two billion? Bird, oddly.

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The quickly-growing scooter company is making waves this week after news broke that the firm is looking to raise even more new capital. The idea that Bird would raise more after reportedly picking up $150 million at a $1 billion valuation less than a month ago is a bit staggering. But it’s not as flat-out astounding as the new numbers. Per Axios’ Dan Primack, Bird is looking to raise another $200 million at a $2 billion valuation.

Hot damn.

And, of course, all this comes after reports that scooter-competitor Lime has raised a quarter billion itself at a comparatively modest $750 million price point. Just thinking out loud, the two companies have over a half-billion dollars between them in essentially no time at all.

The growth, and the economics, that undergird this new gold rush must now be proven out. (That’s the hard bit.)

Crunchbase News spent a minute spitballing about the new rounds today, so we decided to create a special chart. What follows is a time series look at the funding history of Lime, Bird, and Spin. The three companies are essentially the wheeled horseman of this mobility apocalypse. What this will show is the pace of funding acceleration (in dollar terms) that these companies have gone through.

For your delectation, we’ve even color-coded the damn bars.

A note to make about the graph above: Its later acceleration mirrors the funding efforts of dockless bikes and others that operate in the sharing economy. And as companies of this sort deploy their rounds, burning cash to manufacture vehicles and boost market share, these U.S.-based startups are fighting for the lead in a China-style spending war. If the race continues, the winner will be left hoping that users’ love of scooters (and distaste for walking that last mile) will prove lucrative enough to help it live up to its valuation.

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Editorial Note: Savannah Dowling contributed to the writing of this article.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias