Bird to go public following merger with Switchback

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US-based e-scooter operator Bird has announced that it will become a public company having agreed to a merger with special purpose acquisitions firm Switchback.

Founded in 2017, Bird is present in more than 200 cities around the world, clocking up 95 million rides to date.

Bird announced last month that it would be expanding its operations in Europe, with plans to spend $150 million on launching in 50 new cities.

The California-based firm first arrived in Europe in 2019 when it rolled out its operation in Paris and has played a role in the e-scooter trials across the UK, acting as the operator for ongoing trials in Redditch and Canterbury.

Bird was valued at $2.3 billion in the transaction, down from $2.85 billion at the start of 2020.

Founder and CEO of Bird Travis VanderZanden said: “Bird was founded with the mission to provide environmentally friendly transportation for everyone. Since 2017, we have driven adoption of micromobility which has resulted in rapid growth.

“During this time, we have advanced our operating model, supported by proprietary technology and hardware, to scale our mission and reach more cities. This foundation has driven our strong unit economics and delivered our successful track record to date. As we look ahead, we intend to build upon our market leadership and grow our business, which currently only scratches the surface of the estimated $800 billion annual market opportunity for micromobility.”

Switchback is a Dallas-based company with a focus on the energy transition sector, merging with electric vehicle player ChargePoint in 2020.

Co-chief executive officers and directors of Switchback, Jim Mutrie and Scott McNeill, issued the following statement.

“As a category creator for the shared micromobility space, Bird has capitalized on its first-mover advantage to address the significant market opportunity while also providing an efficient and eco-friendly transportation alternative. With its market leadership position, experienced and innovative leadership team, compelling current revenues and business model, along with identified levers for growth, Bird satisfies all the investment criteria we were seeking and we are pleased to announce the definitive agreement for this combination.”

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