July 18, 2024

US Electric Scooter Rental Company Bird Files for Bankruptcy

Bird, the US-based electric scooter rental company, has announced its filing for bankruptcy protection as part of its efforts to reorganize the company. While the bankruptcy filing primarily affects Bird’s operations in the US, its holdings in Europe and Canada remain unaffected. As part of the comprehensive restructuring, Bird plans to sell its assets in order to position itself for long-term and sustainable growth.

The rapid growth of Bird, fueled by the growing demand for emission-free transportation in urban areas, has faced challenges in recent years. The company has reached an agreement with its existing lenders regarding the sale of assets, which establishes a minimum value for these assets. Bird will now embark on a process to find other buyers, anticipated to take 90-120 days, according to a press release issued by the Miami-based company.

Further details about the restructuring plan were not immediately available as Bird did not respond to queries seeking more information. However, it has secured $25 million in financing from a division of Apollo Global Management to facilitate the reorganization.

Bird was part of a wave of scooter companies that experienced rapid growth in the late 2010s. However, issues such as scooters being used outside designated areas and involvement in accidents have hampered the industry’s success. Major cities like Paris, Montreal, Las Vegas, and New Orleans have banned electric scooters, joining other cities such as Barcelona, Toronto, and New York, which had never authorized their use. Additional cities imposed strict regulations on scooter usage, impacting the company’s revenue.

In recent years, Bird has scaled back its operations, pulling out of markets like Germany and Norway in October 2022, and earlier, San Francisco. Nevertheless, the company still maintains a presence in 350 cities worldwide.

Bird made its debut on the public markets in November 2021, reaching a peak valuation of $2.3 billion. However, its financial difficulties led to its delisting from the New York Stock Exchange in September.

With its bankruptcy filing and subsequent reorganization, Bird aims to overcome its challenges and position itself for sustainable growth in the future. By selling its assets and securing financing, the company takes steps towards improving its financial health and reevaluating its operations.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it