May 25, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Bird to Sell Scooters to Independent Operators

Company announces the launch of Bird Platform.

By Sam Catanzaro

Bird Inc, the company behind Bird scooters, has announced that it will sell business owners and entrepreneurs scooters who want to brand and rent out the devices.

The service, called Bird Platform, provides third-party operators with scooters that can be branded with custom logos and graphics. In addition, those who sign up for the service will get access to Bird’s network of chargers and mechanics in exchange for 20 percent of the money earned on each ride. These independent fleet operators will also be free to collect and charge the scooters on their own. 

“The e-scooter movement has never been just about one company, one city or one way of providing a service,” said Travis VanderZanden, CEO of Bird. “With Bird Platform we encourage new entrepreneurs and existing local businesses in all cities to join the effort to get cars off the road.”

According to VanderZanden, the company has been working on Bird Platform for a while and that around 300 companies and business owners have expressed interest. While there are no constraints on the number of devices an operator can purchase, local regulations regarding shared-mobility use have to be taken into consideration.

This makes it unclear how the service will play out in Venice. Under Los Angeles regulations, scooter companies are capped at 10,500 devices. TechCrunch has reported that the Bird is targeting markets with relaxed scooters regulations and avoiding cities with tighter regulations, such as San Francisco, where Bird has been refused a permit to operate at all.

Bird is valued at $2 billion and since it’s launch in 2017, has raised over $400 million in venture capital and is providing more than 10 million rides in 100 cities.

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