Ahead of its stock market debut, e-scooter company Bird is entering the bustling e-bike sharing business with planned launches in cities in the US and Europe.
Bird has been a significant player in the rapidly growing e-scooter market over recent years and much like its competitor Lime, it is now expanding into electric bikes with Bird Bike and the Smart Bikeshare software platform for communities and partner companies.
Companies in Europe have also followed the dual model of e-scooter and e-bike fleets, such as Bolt and Voi. The global bike-share market is tipped to be worth US$13.7 billion (A$18.2 billion) by 2026.
Bird plans to roll out bikes in cities throughout North America and select locations in Europe. Its e-scooters are available in 250 cities. We have requested information from Bird about plans to open in Australia.
Chief executive Travis VanderZanden said that e-scooters have contributed to making cities more eco-friendly and that e-bikes will further advance the mission for zero-emission trips in urban areas.
“We are launching our shared Bird Bike and Smart Bikeshare platform to meet fast-growing demand from cities and riders for more sustainable transportation options while expanding our serviceable addressable market by five billion trips per year,” VanderZanden said.
Bird’s bike is powered by an electric motor with built-in internet of things and geolocation features to ensure bikes remain compliant with city rules around where they can travel and park. IoT (internet of things) capabilities are also used for on-board diagnostics.
The Smart Bikeshare platform meanwhile is a service available to local partners and public transit operators that wish to integrate Bird’s bike-sharing into their network. Bird has partnered with Italian moped company Zig Zag and the American Bikeshare Association to develop and integrate bike-share programs in their respective regions.
“Cities and riders are best served by efficient, collaborative and non-monopolized transportation networks,” VanderZanden added.
“Our vision of smart, responsible bike sharing is to provide the best shared bikes and operations when cities need them, and having the foresight to offer the best support and multimodal integrations when they don’t. Cities, people and the planet win when there is greater access to eco-friendly transportation.”
As we previously reported, Bird has announced that it was merging with Switchback II Corporation, a special purpose acquisition company, that will see Bird go public on the New York Stock Exchange at a reported value of US$2.3 billion (A$3 billion).
Bird has raised over US$630 million (A$840 million) from investors to date including Sequoia Capital, Target Global and Index Ventures.
We saw media reports of Bird planning to enter the Australian market back in 2018 and 2019 but to date we’re not aware of any Bird scooter share schemes having been launched here.
Most of this article was first published at Forbes.com
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