Bird announces plans to go public, tees up expansion beyond scooters

Dive Temporary:

  • Micromobility firm Hen introduced Wednesday it plans to go public on the New York Inventory Alternate. It’s going to merge with Switchback II, a particular objective acquisition firm (SPAC) in a transaction anticipated to worth the corporate at $2.3 billion.
  • In a weblog publish saying the SPAC, Hen CEO and Founder Travis VanderZanden stated it’s a “vital step on our journey to offer the world with secure, eco-friendly transportation.” He stated the merger with Switchback II will assist speed up that mission, and he pledged to supply extra various car sorts to assist have in mind the number of journeys folks absorb cities.
  • A Hen spokesperson stated in an e mail the transaction is anticipated to shut within the second half of 2021. It’s the second micromobility firm to announce it plans to go public this 12 months, following Helbiz’s announcement of a SPAC in February.

Dive Perception:

Hen has skilled enormous progress because it started operations in 2017. In his weblog publish, VanderZanden stated the corporate now has scooters in additional than 200 cities all over the world, which he famous helped quadruple the variety of journeys taken on micromobility gadgets from 35 million in 2017 to 136 million in 2019, in keeping with the Nationwide Affiliation of Metropolis Transportation Officers.

Hen’s weblog suggests the corporate is positioning itself to maneuver past scooters, one thing its main officers have been floating since earlier than the coronavirus pandemic. Lime has already taken such steps by introducing e-mopeds to some markets this 12 months. A few of Hen’s opponents gave the corporate credit score for its transfer to go public, and stated it reveals the well being of the business.

“This information speaks to the big worth of the micromobility area,” a Lime spokesperson stated in an e mail. “It is nice information for Hen, nice information for comparable corporations, and in the end nice information for cities and all who will profit from the continuing revolution in transportation for brief journeys.”

However the rivalry stays sturdy. The Lime spokesperson stated Lime’s personal potential future valuation would “seemingly far surpass” Hen’s $2.3 billion valuation, given Lime’s profitability and the actual fact it believes it is thrice the scale of Hen on cumulative downloads, world market share and weekly lively customers. Certainly, Hen’s non-public market valuation reportedly hit $2.8 billion in January 2020, however that took a success in the course of the pandemic.

This announcement additionally comes a number of months after Helbiz stated it could comply with an identical path towards itemizing publicly on Nasdaq. That firm, which purchased Skip late final 12 months, is anticipated to shut on that transaction within the second quarter of 2021.

SPACs, in the meantime, have turn into an more and more in style means for corporations to record publicly on the inventory market, versus the extra conventional preliminary public providing route that Uber, Lyft and Airbnb adopted in earlier years. The mechanism could also be topic to additional scrutiny from the federal authorities, nevertheless, with the Securities and Alternate Fee anticipated to start out cracking down on the follow by the tip of the summer time.

VanderZanden stated there may be lots extra work to do within the transportation sector whether it is to realize the steep cuts in carbon emissions essential to battle local weather change.

“Whereas this can be a notable begin, there’s extra work to be achieved,” he wrote. “We should make local weather pleasant transportation accessible to everybody if we’re to reverse the injury that the present transportation paradigm is doing to our planet.”

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