California-based micromobility startup, Bird, has decided to invest $150M (approx €125.74M) in Europe to help cities remain car-free as they start to ease restrictions following the pandemic.
According to the company, since the pandemic, European riders account for nearly 1 out of every 2 Bird rides globally, and they’ve been travelling on average of more than 30 per cent longer on its (Bird’s) e-scooters.
New European Executives to help expand in Europe
As part of the development, Bird has promoted Renaud Fages, a French national and former Partner at BCG, as Global Head of Operations. In addition, the company has also promoted Ireland-native Brendan O’Driscoll as the Head of Product, Growth and Data at Bird. Brendan will oversee global product strategy and implementation.
With an aim to cement the company’s position in the European market, Bird will double its footprint in the region in the near future by launching in more than 50 new cities across Europe and increasing its fleet size in existing ones.
In addition, Bird is also introducing new Ride Pass products to incentivise people to not use their cars. These Ride Pass options include Daily Unlimited Rides Pass; Monthly Unlimited Rides Pass; Monthly Unlimited Unlocks Pass; and 3-Month Unlimited Unlocks Pass.
On this development, Brendan O’Driscoll says, “Increasing e-scooter access and encouraging routine micromobility use is absolutely critical during the spring months as more cities slowly lift pandemic restrictions and businesses begin to reopen. By simplifying our Global Ride Pass features, adding new pricing plans based on rider needs and making it available in dozens of additional cities, we’re able to extend the reach and long-term benefits of micromobility to millions of additional people around the world.”
Bird claims to have spent the winter period working with cities throughout the region to establish their transport needs.
With an understanding of the mobility situation in Europe, Renaud Fages says, “This pandemic has been devastating for towns and cities across Europe, and we want to help them get moving again. Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen elected leaders step up in a big way to promote sustainable, socially distant mobility. Many cities have created hundreds of miles of bike lanes, and we have seen millions of people embrace new forms of transport, like our micro EVs. Bird’s investment in Europe will enable us to support these efforts and better deliver on the promise of mobility for all.”
Utilisation of the funds
The capital will be used to open safe, sustainable micromobility programs in more than 50 new European cities.
In addition, Bird will also be launching new mobility products and safety initiatives, implementing the next generation of recycling and second life applications for vehicles, investing in equity programs, and securing partnerships across the region to improve transportation for all Europeans.
Everything about Bird
The company was founded in 2017 by Travis VanderZanden and is on a mission to make cities more livable by reducing car usage, traffic, and carbon emissions.
Bird started off as a US-based startup and later attained the status of a ‘Unicorn’. It offers dockless electric scooters to its users via a vehicle sharing platform. The platform works with cities, universities, and partners across the globe to provide a sustainable transportation option and in a way help people reduce reliance on cars.
Recently, the company has expanded its services in the UK as rider demand for micromobility continues to climb in 2021. A month later, in February 2021, it announced the integration with France’s national SNCF rail company. Also in February 2021, Bird, Bolt, Dott, FreeNow, Lime, TIER, Voi, and Wind, came together to form a new coalition focused on developing a coherent policy framework that will help micromobility flourish across the continent and support the rapid transition to zero-emission urban mobility.
Last year, in January, the company acquired its German competitor Circ and secured $75M (approx €68M) extension to its Series D funding round, bringing the size of the round to $350M (approx €318M).