New financing for Bird and Tier kick-scooter business
The kick scooter industry continues to raise money from investors with both Tier Mobility and Bird closing new financing rounds. Both companies, however, are now looking to reach profitability rather than “just” expanding.
In an announcement this week, Bird said it had raised $275 million in fresh funding. The latest and fourth-round (Series D) was led by previous investor Sequoia and Quebec pension fund CDPQ and increased Bird’s post-money valuation to nearly $2.8 billion.
However, the market has become a tough going. Increased competition from the likes of Uber-sponsored Lime as well as questions of profitability pose new challenges. Bird’s CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden acknowledged the situation in the company’s funding announcement: “Gone are the days when top-line growth was the leading KPI for emerging companies. Positive unit economics is the new goal line.”
This does not mean there won’t be any expansion naturally. Bird just launched in Luxembourg and even the coming European winter has left both operators and investors unfazed it appears.
Take Tier Mobility, that also finished a new round of funding. In Series B they have raised 55 million euros (about $60M). New investors include Abu Dhabi’s state fund Mubadala Capital and Goodwater Capital. Lawrence Leuschner, CEO and co-founder of Tier Mobility in a statement on the new investors, hopes they will help to “accelerate our expansion plans.”
The Berlin-based startup mostly operates in German cities such as Berlin, Frankfurt Main, Hamburg, Cologne or Munich since it launched a year ago. Tier Mobility’s model relies on cooperations such as with ReachNow or Sixt Share.