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Scooter Consolidation May Finally Be Upon Us

According to our friends at TechCrunch, scooter startup Bird may purchase scooter startup Scoot. This should not surprise.

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When Bird laid off about 4 to 5 percent of its full-time staff in March, it seemed that the scooter company was working on containing costs. Also read, it was working on overcoming some of the logistical challenges that come with two-wheel travel (expensive repair costs, theft, charging infrastructure, etc). Now, it’s back in the news with another move, this time, with its fingers crossed for growth. 

Each scooter company is going through what Bird did regarding costs and vehicle longevity, and more. Two things have become clear since Bird and Lime blew up back in early 2018. First, that scooters are harder to eke profit from than expected. And, second, that too many scooter companies were founded.

Given both facts, seeing consolidation in the space is the opposite of surprising. Throw in the fact that Scoot has license to operate in San Francisco and Bird does not, and the calculus of stacking the two companies up together makes even more sense.

The TechCrunch story also reports that Uber could acquire Skip. Perhaps Lime will purchase Spin (its launch isn’t going so well in Albuquerque) Who knows! But if Bird does buy a rival, it could tip the market towards a period of consolidation.

Recall that both Lime and Bird were sniffed-over by Uber before the latter declined to buy either.

According to its Crunchbase profile, buying Scoot would constitute Bird’s first acquisition. Its most recent round was almost one year ago, a $300 million led by Sequoia Capital. As such, we presume that the deal would be for more stock than cash, as the latter is likely in tight supply at Bird, which has both growth costs and vehicle-related capex to cover.

Bird’s been busy. It recently launched Bird One, an e-scooter available for purchase for $1,299, and then this week, announced a two-seater electric vehicle.

More when we have it.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias.

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