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Update: In a bid to corner supply, Bird locks in exclusive deals with the biggest scooter vendors

Update: This story has been updated to indicate that the contract between Bird and its suppliers is worth tens of millions of dollars. It seems like all is fair in love and scooter wars. In the battle royal to become the last dock-less scooter startup standing ( and un-besmirched by poop ), Bird has inked what it is characterizing as exclusive deals with Ninebot (the parent company of Segway ) and Xiaomi ( yes, that Xiaomi ), for rights to their supply of scooters for ride-sharing in the U.S. Ninebot and Xiaomi are the current champions in the scooter manufacturing market, and locking in their supply may cut off a big source of hardware for competitors Spin and LimeBike , both of which used Ninebot and Xiaomi for scooters. “That’s news to us, we have a contract with both,” wrote an executive at a leading scooter company, when asked about the deal and its implications for the scooter business. A person familiar with the Bird transaction placed the deal in the tens of millions of dollars and declined to speculate on what the agreement with the two supplier could mean for its competitors. Since its launch in Santa Monica, Calif. in September  2017, Bird has become synonymous with both the perils and promise that scooters hold for last mile mobility. While they undoubtedly make traveling across campuses or in relatively small communities much more convenient than car services or shuttles, they’re also clogging sidewalks, parks, alleys, and even beaches, while creating untold numbers of minor visits to emergency rooms in the cities they’ve expanded into. And Bird has expanded into a lot of cities.

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