The electric scooter and bike-sharing company said that it is retreating from 12 cities worldwide and laying off 14% of its workforce, or 100 employees, as it seeks to cut costs.
"Financial independence is our goal for 2020, and we are confident that Lime will be the first next-generation mobility company to reach profitability," Lime CEO and Co-Founder Brad Bao said in a statement to PitchBook.
That sentiment reflects the new urgency felt by mobility startups that until recently put aggressive growth ahead of everything else. But in a post-WeWork world, startups like DoorDash, Fair, and Getaround have entered a cost-cutting mode.
Lime rivals Bird and Lyft have also reportedly looked to cut costs through layoffs in their micromobility operations over the past year.
"In many cases, the investors behind some of these companies are wanting to conserve capital, are wanting to show profitability sooner rather than later," said Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco, a mobile and micromobility industry research firm.
Just a few years ago, micromobility was all the rage in Silicon Valley. But venture capital funding for micromobility startups throughout the globe had fallen to around $1.3 billion in 2019 as of Sept. 30, down from more than $5 billion in 2018, according to PitchBook data.
Lime raised $310 million at a $2.4 billion valuation in February 2019 from investors including Bain Capital Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and GV. At the time, co-founder and then-CEO Toby Sun said the funds would allow it to expand into new markets. The company later followed through on those plans with a major expansion in Latin America.
Read more here