Motorized scooters have become the newest craze in the sharing economy, evidenced by the recent billion-dollar valuation of startup Bird. The scooter-share company is experiencing massive growth alongside competitor Lime, which also rents bicycles. At Bird, spending has increased twenty-six-fold since October 2017, and Lime has also grown rapidly during the same period.
Bird and Lime offer scooters that can go up to 15 mph and are priced competitively—$1 to unlock and 15¢ per minute to use. Rider transaction totals reveal the average ride on a Bird scooter last month was 13 minutes.
Founded in California in September 2017, Bird has recently expanded into a handful of U.S. cities, and data from May shows that the company’s monthly sales have more than doubled since March. Bird still finds most of its customers in the Golden State, which accounted for about two-thirds of monthly sales in May.
But San Francisco recently told scooter companies to pump the brakes due to a large number of complaints about reckless riding and haphazard parking. Scooters were pulled from the streets earlier this month and are being reintroduced via a pilot program over the next two years. Other cities—including Denver, Nashville, and Bird’s hometown Santa Monica—are also placing limitations on the booming industry.
Investors don’t appear deterred, and they aren’t the only ones excited by scooters. Both Uber and Lyft have applied for scooter permits in San Francisco after recent moves into bike sharing. In April, Uber purchased bike-share startup Jump, and both rideshare giants are reportedly eyeing Motivate, the company behind Citi Bike and Ford GoBikes.
Get in touch to see how San Francisco’s pilot program impacts sales at Bird and Lime.
Oh, and we’re hiring.