Home / Tag Archives: scooter

Tag Archives: scooter

With new tech coming online, cities need a department of urban testing

Shaun Abrahamson Contributor Shaun Abrahamson is a managing partner at Urban Us Ventures and serves on the Investment Committee at URBAN-X . More posts by this contributor How should startups work with city governments? The design and operation of cities is the province of urban planning. But an explosion of startups in cities means a lot of new products and services for urban areas. The problem is, we don’t really know how people are going to use these new products and services. “The company launched a trial service in Santa Monica just last year and when I first saw the scooters (parked literally outside of our office) I was convinced nobody would want to ride them…The volume grew so steadily that I finally hopped on one, rode down to Bird’s offices and pleaded with Travis to take money from us. I had literally never seen a consumer phenomenon take off so quickly,” says Mark Suster in All The Questions You Wanted Answered about Bird Scooters and Their Recent $300 Million Funding . There is no doubt Santa Monica scooter usage has benefited from a significant investment in bike lanes, as you can see from this map . If you doubt this, take a look at what happens as you travel a little outside of Santa Monica, where bike infrastructure doesn’t exist. Scooter riders take to sidewalks, just as they do on bikes. (I suspect data would also reveal less usage in these areas and that there are a lot of complaints in these areas about the scooters.) Adapting to new behavior Just four-and-a-half years ago, people were stunned by the then huge valuation of Uber at over $3.5 billion. It took Uber just over four years to get to that valuation. Now Uber is acquiring electric, dockless bike companies and investing in shared scooters, as they dial back their self-driving activities. The chart below explains why

Read More »

Bird now offers discounts to people with low incomes

Bird, the scooter startup that has raised more than $400 million in funding, has introduced a program geared toward low-income people in order to increase access to transportation. Called One Bird, the program eliminates the $1 fee to unlock a Bird so that the rider just has to pay 15 cents per minute. “Everyone should have access to transportation that is accessible, affordable, and environmentally-friendly,” Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a statement. “One Bird makes this a reality by providing a way for everyone to ride Birds in their city. We warmly welcome all new riders, and encourage our current eligible riders to enroll in the program, so together we can create a community with fewer cars, less traffic, and reduced carbon emissions.” The program is live in every market where Bird operates, which includes cities like Atlanta, Austin, Santa Monica, Calif. and Washington, D.C. In order to sign up for One Bird, you have to either be enrolled in or eligible for a state or federal assistance program, like CalFresh, Medicaid, SNAP or a discounted utility bill. Eligible people can reach out to one@ bird .co to learn more. Lime, a bike- and scooter-share startup, has a similar program. In May, Lime launched Lime Access to enable people who qualify for state or federal assistance programs to purchase 100 rides on pedal bikes for $5. Increasing access to transportation has long been a talking point for companies like Uber, Lyft, Spin, Lime and Bird. In San Francisco, which still has yet to decide which companies will get to operate scooter services in the city, the Municipal Transportation Agency has asked companies to outline how they each plan to support people in low-income communities. For Bird, offering discounted rides appears to be one of its strategies. You can read more about the scooter wars here. Silicon Valley scooter wars

Read More »

Bird officially announces $300M raise led by Sequoia Capital, its second raise in just a few months (Matthew Lynley/TechCrunch)

Matthew Lynley / TechCrunch : Bird officially announces $300M raise led by Sequoia Capital, its second raise in just a few months   —  And there we have it: Bird, one of the emerging massively-hyped Scooter startups, has roped in its next pile of funding by picking up another $300 million in a round led by Sequoia Capital.

Read More »

Scooter startup Bird has authorized sale of $200M in shares in latest funding round

Bird, the scooter startup whose scooters you might have seen fallen over on the sidewalk in a major metro area, has authorized a new $200 million round of funding that could value the startup at around $1 billion post-money, according to a certificate of incorporation filed in Delaware. The latest Bird round has been pretty widely reported, suggesting that the company is raising $150 million at a $1 billion valuation . That, too, comes amid a big effort by competitor Lime to raise a big funding round. These documents indicate that the company has authorized the sale of those shares, though it may not fully fill out the round. The certificate of incorporation document was provided by Lagniappe Labs, creator of the Prime Unicorn Index . The document indicates that Bird has authorized the sale of 31.5 million new shares in its financing round at a value of $6.15 per share, which if fully sold could net the startup as much as $200 million in this round. This round would value the company at just over $1 billion, a new financing round that follows up a $100 million round announced in March . These kinds of rolling rounds are not completely uncommon. Instead of bundling everything together in a single round, startups may sometimes have a process that includes follow-on investment rounds, of which this may be a component. The last funding round in March valued the company at around $300 million. Needless to say, scooters are a hot market right now even if they are facing a lot of friction when it comes to dealing with leaving their scooters everywhere around cities. But running startups that are hardware-focused — especially on-demand ones that have to manage a network of scooters that need to have enough of a charge to get someone from point A to point B, lest they have a bad experience and switch to an alternative — can be an expensive proposition. The hardware component itself, too, can be a tough business.

Read More »

Boosted Boards founders launch heavy-duty scooter renter Skip

All electric scooters are not created equal. I’ve found ones from Spin, Bird, and Lime to often be broken, shaky, or out of battery. But now the founders of Boosted Boards, which makes the steadiest and safest-feeling electric skateboards, are bringing their rugged hardware expertise to the scooter world. Today, they’re coming out of stealth with a supposedly stronger and longer-lasting dockless electric scooter rental startup called Skip . And the surprise is they’re hoping to only operate where permitted unlike their backlashed competitors but no guarantees, with a deployment today in partnership with Washington D.C. and plans for San Francisco. Formerly known by its Y Combinator codename Waybots, the company is exclusively announcing its funding and rebrand to Skip today on TechCrunch. The startup has raised a $6 million seed round led by Initialized Capital via Alexis Ohanian and Ronny Conway’s A Capital, with SV Angel joining in.”High integrity, thoughtful founders with all the relevant experience, demonstrated success, and an eye toward safety make this exactly the kind of investment I love” says Ohanian. “We think the vehicle matters” Skip and former Boosted co-founder/CEO Sanjay Dastoor tells me. “It’s not the same as rideshare where two or more companies are all using the same car. There’s a big spectrum of quality in the base vehicles. A lot of these companies are buying off the shelf vehicles  that are designed for personal ownership.  I think these vehicles will need to be designed for a different level of use and upkeep.” That’s why Skip is modifying bigger pre-made scooters to be more durable, and plans to build its own custom scooters.  For the same $1 plus $0.15 per minute price as other services, you get a wider riding platform, full suspension, and head/tail/brake lights. The strategy is that if people feel safe and steady riding Skips, they’ll choose them over the competition

Read More »

Update: Bird buys more scooters

Update: This story has been updated to indicate that the deal is worth tens of millions not hundreds of millions and includes comment from other manufacturers. 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. The company is currently operating in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Washington, DC, Nashville and Atlanta. Meanwhile, other companies in the market believe that this agreement is much less than it seems. They note that the exclusivity agreement is for a particular model of scooters, but each scooter company has its own design and those contracts are still valid. Indeed, emails from suppliers seen by TechCrunch confirm that one of the suppliers mentioned in the Bird release still intends to fulfill planned orders from a direct Bird competitor. Sources close to Bird says that the Lime and Spin contracts should be invalid, given the contracts that the Santa Monica, Calif.

Read More »