Scooter tie-up: Bird acquires Scoot with goals to develop greater, sooner collectively

Bird was one of many first scooter corporations to come back to San Francisco. Months later, native regulators banned the corporate from working within the metropolis.


James Martin

Scooter firm Bird has acquired smaller scooter and electrical moped firm Scoot. The two corporations stated Wednesday that collectively they will be capable of develop extra shortly worldwide and be capable of supply extra forms of electric-assisted autos for hire, together with scooters, mopeds and bikes. 

Bird was the first electrical scooter firm to hit the US and grew very huge, very quick. In lower than two years, it went from having scooters simply in Santa Monica, California, to being in additional than 100 cities within the US and Europe. Scoot has grown a lot slower. It’s supplied mopeds for hire in San Francisco since 2012, but it surely simply has operations there and in Barcelona.

Bird CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden stated in an announcement on Wednesday that his firm plans to work with Scoot to “further scale our complementary missions — to replace car trips with micro-mobility options for all.”


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While the union between Bird and Scoot seems to make sense, the 2 corporations are very totally different.

Bird is thought for coming into new cities unexpectedly and dropping a whole lot of its scooters on streets in a single day with out forewarning lawmakers or residents. This has wrecked havoc in lots of cities with folks complaining new scooter riders do not comply with legal guidelines of the street and endanger pedestrians by using on sidewalks. Residents additionally say riders go away the scooters wherever they really feel prefer it — blocking parking spots, bike racks and wheelchair accesses.

In response to the complaints, Bird has appeared to duck duty. VanderZanden advised CNET in an interview final April that, “it’s ultimately up to the riders to follow the rules.”

Scoot, then again, has at all times labored with regulators to get permits beforehand and create applications that keep in mind security and parking. Its strategy has been to roll out slowly, moderately than overwhelming streets with autos.

“You’ve got to figure out how to mash up your techie startup organization with the city… Otherwise you’re going to make a big mess,” Michael Keating, Scoot’s founder and president, advised CNET in an interview final May. “We want to be around in 10 or 20 or 100 years… We’re not trying to grow as big as we can and flame out.”

That sort of rule-following was rewarded final August when San Francisco granted Scoot one in every of solely two yearlong permits to function electrical scooters within the metropolis. Bird did not get a allow and was successfully banned from San Francisco.

Even although Scoot is now owned by Bird, it is nonetheless capable of function within the metropolis, in line with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. 

The regulator advised CNET it authorised the switch of possession based mostly on Scoot’s assurances that it’ll nonetheless meet the targets of San Francisco’s allow program. Those efforts embody a concentrate on security and ensuring underrepresented communities have entry to scooters.

Under the phrases of Bird’s acquisition, Scoot will proceed to function as Scoot however as an entirely owned subsidiary of Bird.

“With Bird, our mission remains the same,” Keating stated in an announcement Wednesday. “But the scale at which we will pursue it, and the vehicles we will offer will be so much better for our riders and the cities we serve.”

Originally revealed June 12, 10:31 a.m. PT.
Updates, 12:56 p.m.: Includes further background data; 5:19 p.m.: Adds data from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.