Electric scooter rental company Bird announces that the cash received from the merging through SPAC will be used to expand. It will also include growing its business in the existing markets. Bird merged with Switchback II Coro and the trading started in NYSE on Thursday.
The recent listing for the Santa Monica-based Bird was evaluated to be $414 million. Furthermore, Chief Executive Travis VanderZanden stated that around two-thirds of the money will go to the current operations. The rest 20% will be used to launch their vehicles in new cities. VanderZanden said, “We plan to continue scaling out to all sizes of cities in the US and Europe in particular. I don’t think our trend of expanding to new cities is going to slow down.”
Currently, it is known that Bird is operating in 300 cities all over the world as it reported second-quarter results this year. According to VanderZanden, the number is close to 350 cities now. To handle tougher regulations, larger operators are seeking greater scale as Bird plans to further undergo consolidation. Following the after pandemic lockdown lifts, there was a 43% increase in rides compared to the rides in 2019 in the same quarter. The company is predicting that by 2022 their revenue will be $400 million.
Feeling good about the numbers
VanderZanden adds, “SPACs have got a bit of a bad name and that’s partly because you have companies with no revenue or companies putting out wild forecasts that they can’t deliver on. We fully intend to execute against that forecast and feel good about the numbers we’ve put out.”
Last month the company implemented a GPS technology that will help prevent unsafe riding. For example, the sidewalk is dangerous, yet people take the route when in a hurry or impatient. To prevent such incidents for their customers, Bird bought a solution, annoying beeps. The technology is known as u-box which will be rolling out an end-to-end GPS system. It is “designed to deliver centimeter-level accuracy specifically for the micro-mobility industry.”
With this technology when a user gets on the sidewalk, they will be hearing constant beeps along with notifications on their smartphones. In case the user still doesn’t follow the instructions, then the scooter will be de-powered after slowing down and halting. Other than the new technology the company has been working on many other complaints from users. Especially the availability of scooters in low-income or minority neighborhoods. Equal distribution of the availability will ensure that more people get to use the facilities.