As Lime Leaves 12 Markets, A Note On Scooters

Continuing the spiral of layoffs amid tech companies this week, Scooter startup Lime will leave 12 markets as it focuses on profitability.

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The news, first reported by Axios, comes after Lime raised more than $700 million in funding and expanded rapidly. Now that the company is pulling back from markets and trying to become profitable, it will lay off about 14 percent of its workforce, or about 100 people, Axios reported.

In a post on the Lime website, CEO Brad Bao wrote that the company will be ending U.S. operations in Atlanta, Phoenix, San Antonio and San Diego. Internationally it will leave operations in Linz, Austria, Bogota, Buenos Aires, Puerto Vallarta, Montevideo, Lima, São Paulo and Rio De Janeiro.

Lime has $765 million in total funding with investors including Andreessen Horowitz and GV. It last raised $310 million in its Series D in February 2019.

“Part of realizing our vision to transform urban mobility is achieving financial independence; that is why we have shifted our primary focus to profitability,” Bao wrote. “While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micro-mobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micromobility has evolved more slowly.”

Scooter startups burst onto the scene about two years ago, with Lime initially competing with the likes of Skip and Bird. From the beginning, the emergence of companies (and the massive checks backing them) had a wobbly start from San Francisco to Singapore. Thanks to regulation, expensive costs and even weather, scooter startups have had their day of reckoning.

In recent months, there has been a slew of consolidations and/or shutdowns in the two-wheeled mobility industry.

In December, scooter startup Unicorn went bust and left customers without refunds (and the scooters they were promised). Then, months after scooter startup Bird acquired scooter startup Scoot, the former laid off just under two dozen ex-Scoot employees. It marked its second-wave of layoffs within a one year period and impacted salaried, technical workers.

Illustration Credit: Li-Anne Dias

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