Electric scooters have been through quite a roller coaster ride in recent years. From being the darlings of the e-mobility space to pretty much becoming outcasts in many parts of the world, the electric scooter story can be considered tragic for some, with e-scooter sharing company Bird being the latest casualty of changing micromobility preferences.
Back when Bird went public in 2021, its stock was valued at more than $2 billion at the New York Stock Exchange. However, a year later in 2022, its stock price went into free fall and landed at a meager $70 million. The company was founded by Travis VanderZanden back in 2017. A former executive at Lyft and Uber, he saw a lot of potential in the e-scooter sharing industry. Eventually, Bird expanded and presently operates in 350 cities all over the world.
Despite its expansion, it seems the tides aren’t in Bird’s favor. The company just recently filed for bankruptcy in the US, and stated that it has entered a “financial restructuring process” aimed to better position the company for long-term growth. This new restructuring process in applicable to Bird’s US operations, and makes it clear that the company’s Canadian and European operations will continue as before. For reference, a court filing states the Bird’s assets and liabilities are valued between $100 million to $500 million, and have initiated a Chapter 11 bankruptcy for financial restructuring.
Michael Washinushi will retain his position as CEO of Bird for the time being, and is hopeful that the restructuring program will be able to turn Bird’s fortunes around. In the company’s official press release, he stated, “We are making progress toward profitability and aim to accelerate that progress by right-sizing our capital structure through this restructuring. We remain focused on our mission to make cities more livable by using micromobility to reduce car usage, traffic, and carbon emissions.”
While Bird’s operations in Canada and Europe remain undisturbed for now, many European countries haven’t been taking too kindly on the use of e-scooters for personal mobility. E-scooter sharing has been in quite a pinch in recent years, with dense European cities like Paris implementing an outright ban on e-scooter sharing, instead focusing on other e-mobility solutions such as electric bicycles.