Unstoppable Scooters? Not yet.

scooters.jpgWhat happened?

Bird, an on-demand scooter-sharing company, raised another $300 Million last week. The latest round was led by Sequoia Capital, the California-based VC fund famous for its early investments in Apple, Instagram and WhatsApp. The latest funding round is Bird’s second within two months. It raised the company’s valuation from $1 Billion in May to $2 Billion.

Why does it matter?

The Scooter-Hype has taken Silicon Valley by storm. Lime, Spin, and Bird are amongst the most prominent companies. Yet Uber and Lyft have also signalled their interest in joining the race. The Scooter companies pledge to transform urban mobility by:

  • offering environmentally friendly services
  • contributing towards a reduction of cars on the streets
  • offering fun solutions for the so-called ‘last mile commute’

What’s next?

The companies entered cities with an ‘ask forgiveness, not permission’ approach, resembling the efforts of other urban mobility companies. The unloading of the scooters on the streets, however, has created nuisance in many cities. Authorities in many cities have decided to step in. Recently San Francisco announced a cap of 5 Scooter company permits for 2018; (the permits require users to wear helmets). This seems to be latest twist in the never-ending story of Silicon Valley vs. Regulation. Expect more to come, as Bird and Lime expand across the Atlantic.

© Photo: http://www.sfexaminer.com/scooter-share-firms-roll-service-sf-ahead-city-efforts-regulation/

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