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Bird pioneered scooter sharing. Now it's going public

May 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

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Bird, the startup that pioneered shared electric scooters, plans to go public as soon as this summer.

Washington, DC (CNN)Bird, the startup that pioneered shared electric scooters, plans to go public as soon as this summer.

Bird will merge with a special purpose acquisition company, Switchback II Corporation, valuing the startup at $2. 3 billion.

The scooters proved both popular and controversial, as the company quickly expanded around the United States and globally in 2018.

Scooter-sharing's popularity motivated cities to build bike lanes and consider how to welcome greener car alternatives in congested urban cores.

However, Bird and its competitors were criticized as unsafe and for their scooters cluttering sidewalks, as they rapidly expanded in a fashion that was sometimes disorganized and didn't always have the blessing of local governments.

But this year Bird was selected as part of New York City's scooter program, which will begin in the East Bronx this summer and include the construction of new bike lanes.

Bird also has begun selling its scooters direct to customers, as well as through Target. com.

While Bird pioneered scooter sharing, it has faced stiff competition from fellow startups like Lime, which has said it's given more than 200 million rides, more than twice Bird's figure, and has close ties with Uber.

Ford operates scooter-sharing company Spin.

Bird and other scooter companies originally used consumer grade hardware that wasn't designed for the wear and tear of being left outside during inclement weather and ridden by a half-dozen different people on some days.

by summa-bot

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