Bird scooter

Electric scooter company Bird now valued at $2 billion

The age of scooter sharing is upon us

Scooter rental startup Bird Rides is now valued at $2 billion after a current $300 million funding spherical, based on a supply near the matter.

That’s a quick rise for the Los Angeles-based company, which launched its first scooter pilot program in Santa Monica, California, final September. It now operates scooter shares in 22 US cities.

“The investors love the growth … and the numbers, but I think they also like the mission of Bird,” stated CEO and founder Travis Vanderzanden instructed CNNMoney. “People have been trying to find ways to get Americans out of cars for a long time, and we think Bird can have a big impact.”

The scooters, which may go as much as 15 miles per hour, give metropolis residents an alternative commuting option. The scooters, rented through an app, price $1 to unlock and about $zero.15 to experience per minute. They function on the identical lithium ion batteries that cell telephones and tablets use.

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Bird scooter
An electrical scooter belonging to the Bird company is ready for a rider on a avenue of downtown Washington, DC.

“What we learned over time is that people are not only having fun on Birds and using them to explore cities, but they’re actually using them to commute to and from work,” stated Vanderzanden, who was as soon as the COO of Lyft and later a VP of progress at Uber.

But not everyone seems to be onboard with the electrical scooter craze. Scooter startups like Bird permit riders to park them wherever that does not block pedestrian walkways. However, residents in cities corresponding to Los Angeles say they typically litter sidewalks and pose a hazard to pedestrians. On Instagram, #ScootersBehavingBadly showcases photographs of electrical scooters blocking visitors and parked on prime of metropolis benches.

Some cities like San Francisco and Denver have even banned them till new regulation is handed. Vanderzanden stated he believes the scooters needs to be regulated, too.

Related: Self-driving cars. Scooters. The future of commuting to work is here

“We want to work with cities and figure it out,” stated Bird’s Vanderzanden. “It’s been hard for [cities] to see this wave of electric scooters coming and so there’s really not a lot of laws around the electric scooters yet. We’re actually supportive of regulation.”

Although Bird was among the many first scooter share corporations to market, it faces rising competitors from corporations corresponding to San Francisco-based Lime, which operates scooter and bikeshare applications in 70 cities. On Monday, Uber introduced it’s partnering with Lime to supply scooter leases inside its app.

Meanwhile, Lime put tons of of the scooters on the streets of Paris final month.

“The numbers have been crazy [in] the first few days,” stated Arthur-Louis Jacques, the top of Lime in France. “We put a few hundred scooters, and it’s not enough. We need to [add] more because people are looking for them.”

Lime stated a million individuals within the US already use its bike and electrical scooter sharing companies. The company raised $135 million from buyers since its launch a 12 months and a half in the past, based on Jacques. He declined to share Lime’s valuation.

Related: Self-driving cars. Scooters. The future of commuting to work is here

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo accepted Lime’s scooter operation within the metropolis, so long as riders keep on the highway or metropolis bike lanes.

“For the moment, the scooters that I see are properly parked,” she stated. “I have yet to see any scooters on the sidewalks.”

She emphasised how this correct use is essential to creating the scooter system work in Paris.

“If there were any [on sidewalks], they would be sanctioned,” she stated. “You don’t have the right to ride on the sidewalks and to block the movement of pedestrians.”

CNNMoney (New York) First revealed July 9, 2018: 12:45 PM ET

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