Bird Rides, the electric scooter vehicle-sharing company, is changing how they do things to help push around the world while making up for recent losses.
The Los Angeles-based start-up, which has been valued by investors at as much as $2 billion, has begun selling scooters to third parties, who then use its software and networking platform to rent them out under their own brand. Bird will take a 20 percent cut on every ride taken using its system.
The first companies using the “Bird Platform” are in New Zealand, Canada and Latin America, allowing Bird to expand more quickly into regions where it does not currently operate, while also passing on some of its substantial capital costs.
“What Platform allows us to do is to accelerate our mission across the world, which is reducing car trips and carbon emissions,” said Travis VanderZanden, Bird’s Founder and Chief Executive. “What’s most important to us is we are able to work with local entrepreneurs that know their market well.”
Bird will continue to own and operate its fleets in the US and Europe, where it is battling with its Silicon Valley-based rival Lime as well as several local start-ups, for market share.
Selling scooters to third parties is just one way Bird has been adjusting the way it does business in recent months, as it scrambles to improve its operational profitability. Other changes have included modifications to the scooters themselves — to ensure they last longer — and controversial reductions to the fees pays its network of contractors for each scooter they recharge.
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