Shared e-scooter startup Bird has earmarked $150 million for a European expansion plan.
The US-owned micro-mobility company, which is one of the leading players in the nascent UK shared scooter market, intends to launch in more than 50 cities this year, doubling its footprint in the region.
Bird recently brought its scooters to Bergen, Norway, Tarragona, Spain and Palermo, Italy. It is also promising more scooters in existing cities as well as new products and safety initiatives. There are however no details of what the new products might be.
In a blog post the company stated
“As the continent ramps up vaccination efforts, we at Bird have a responsibility to support the cities we’re proud to call home as they reopen and recover. European riders account for nearly one out of every two Bird rides globally, and since the pandemic they’ve been traveling on average more than 30% longer on our e-scooters.”
Bird is clearly hoping to be a market leader in the UK when the government officially sanctions e-scooter hire. It was the first to offer scooter hire in the country via private land on the Olympic Park in Stratford East London. It has also participated in the trials that are currently being undertaken in Redditch and Canterbury.
It isn’t however on the rumoured list of scooter providers for London’s trial which is set to start imminently. The company was also snubbed by Paris, arguably the European leader in e-scooter hire, which went with three of its rivals.
In January the company was rumoured to be in the midst of securing a deal to raise more than $100 million in convertible debt, led by existing investors Sequoia Capital and Valor Equity Partners.
On the blog post the company also said…
“In less than three months, 2021 has already set itself up to be our most significant year in Europe with a UK expansion, an integration with France’s national SNCF rail company and a co-chair position on the newly formed Micro-Mobility for Europe coalition.”