July 31, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Bird Seeking 1/4 Billion From Investors After Losing $100 Million

Scooter giant seeking venture capital after posting losses in first quarter 

By Sam Catanzaro 

Bird Inc, the Santa Monica-based company behind Bird scooters, reported significant financial losses during the first quarter of the year. Despite this decline in revenue, the company, valued at being worth about $3.2 billion, continues to seek out venture capital investments aggressively by touting their new devices’ durability. 

As reported by The Information, Bird lost nearly $100 million in the first quarter of 2019 while revenue declined by over 62 percent from the previous quarter. In addition, in the spring the company said they were down to around $100 million in cash despite raising over $700 million over nearly two years. In response to this loss of revenue, the company laid off five percent of its employees and paused service in 44 of its North American markets.

Despite these losses, the company projects robust growth and hopes to break even during the summer months thanks to their new scooters: the Bird One and the Bird Zero. These devices, which make up around 80 percent of the fleet, according to CEO Travis VanderZanden, are heavier and more durable than previous models which Bird hopes will woo investors.

“In 2018, we introduced the industry’s first scooter designed and engineered specifically for the sharing market, Bird Zero. Resulting from the commercial-grade aspects of Bird Zero, it lasts over 10 months in the sharing environment on average and is now profitable due to its increased lifespan and battery capacity,” VanderZanden said. “Bird One builds on the benefits and learnings of Bird Zero and is forecasted to last in the sharing environment for well over a year.” 

Per The Information, Bird wants to raise $200-300 million in venture capital by the end of summer. As part of the pitch to investors, Bird touted stats relating to the new scooters’ durability as a way the company hopes to cut down on operating costs. Bird is also looking to raise funds by selling a $1,299 device for personal use and allowing companies to rent out their devices for a cut of revenue. 

Information presented to investors provides insight into Bird’s revenue and operating costs. Looking at Bird One and Bird Zero usage data in two four-week periods from this spring and summer — May 6 to June 2 and June 10 to July 7 — the company made the case that they have become more efficient despite the loss of $100 million in the first quarter of 2019. 

During this period, gross revenue per ride ranged from $4.12 to $4.27, an over 10 percent increase from last year’s numbers, according to data reported by The Information. This increase in revenue is possibly due to the company’s hikes on ride rates from 15 cents a minute to 30 cents a minute in many cities. In Santa Monica, the current rate is 26 cents a minute. 

In addition, The Information touched on the depreciation of Bird devices to the tune of between $0.94 to $1.17 per ride during the study period, roughly a quarter of each ride’s revenue. The decline in scooters’ value is Bird’s most significant cost per ride and something the company addressed in the rollout of the Bird One by touting the durability of the device. 

When it came to insurance, The Information says that Bird is paying around 25 cents per ride, but this figure could go up as larger claims emerge down the line. For charging, Bird is paying between 79 cents and 93 cents per ride, a nearly 40 percent decrease from last year. Finally, repairs are costing Bird between 32 and 44 cents per ride, down from last year. In the spring, the company stopped outsourcing repairs and began hiring mechanics working out of service centers to lower costs. 

When reached for comment, Bird said “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation,” while referring a series of VanderZanden’s tweets regarding The Information’s article in which he called the piece “(fake) news.” 

“I’m on a flight back from a Paris business trip and catching up on some (fake) news about Bird’s financials. Here are some facts so you can decide how Bird’s business is doing for yourself,” VanderZanden wrote. “Bird’s revenue run rate is up over 4x from this time last year. Bird is now making $1.27 on every ride on the Bird Zero scooters, which is over 75% of our fleet. Yes, this includes charging, repair, all other local ops, and the cost of the vehicle (depreciation). In fact, our unit economics are already better than ride-sharing and we’ve only been operating a little over 1.5 years.” 

“We sent this data to the reporter (DisInformation) that triggered this “news” cycle, but he chose to use old data from last winter. The $100M he ref was a one-time accounting write-off from old retail scooters b/c our original depreciation window was too long. Facts matter.” 

Related Posts

20-Year-Old Fresno Man Killed in Venice Shooting, Crash

July 30, 2021

July 30, 2021

No arrests made in connectio to Tuesday incident By Sam Catanzaro. Officials have released the identity of a 20-year-old man...

Uovo Pasta Opens in Marina Del Rey

July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

Soft opening for popular restaurant at Pier 44 By Kerry Slater  Popular pasta restaurant Uovo is now open in Marina...

Police Investigating Fatal Crash, Shooting in Venice

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Details remain murky surrounding Tuesday morning incident  By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating a fatal car crash and possible related...

Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects: YO! Venice Show – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects *...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Venice Bridge Home Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs (UPDATED)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...

IPO Cosmetics Launches The World’s First 4Step Facial Kit

July 10, 2021

July 10, 2021

It’s Perfect On Introduces a New, Convenient, Portable and Eco-Friendly Skincare Option By Staff Writer What if you could get...