Bird Global, a company that makes electric scooters, has reported it is on track to increase ridership and revenues less than six month after warning investors they could be near bankruptcy.
Miami-based company Micromobility said that its network of micromobility enabled 5.2 million rides during the first quarter 2023. This is a 29% drop from the same time last year. The drop follows a turbulent year for the company, which saw layoffs and exits of unprofitable markets from Europe and North America.
The company stopped operations in San Francisco in February after a dispute with the city authorities over regulations.
Shane Torchiana, CEO of the company, said that cold weather conditions in several markets lowered demand for scooters during the last quarter.
He said: "As Q2 approaches and the weather warms up, we continue seeing a strong demand for eco-friendly and micromobility transportation in all of the cities that we serve." We also see higher revenue for each vehicle per day, as the weather gets warmer and more people are out in the world.
Bird has launched its operations in 90 new markets, including Canada's entire market. This country will account for at least 14% in revenue during the second quarter.
Bird's total operating costs were reduced by 60% in one year due to the combination of exiting unprofitable market and job cuts.
Torchiana stated that establishing strong relationships with city officials and regulators will be crucial to Bird's future success. Bird is working with local governments to develop e-scooter rules that will increase ridership. Bird is working with local officials in Atlanta and Nashville, Ohio, St. Louis Missouri, Richmond, Virginia, and Gainesville Florida to expand the hours and areas of operation for their micromobility program.
Bird, founded in 2017, distributes electric scooters to be rented on a short-term basis in many cities in the United States. In 2020, during the Covid-19 epidemic when ridership dropped dramatically, Bird laid off nearly half its staff. Bird went public in 2021 after merging into Switchback II, a special purpose acquisition firm. The deal was valued at $2.3 Billion. Bird's current market cap is around $36million.
According to the tech layoff tracker Layoffs.fyi, Bird's problems did not end when it went public. In June last year, Bird laid off 23 percent of its 600 employees. Torchiana replaced Travis VanderZanden, the founder and CEO of Bird. VanderZanden is the former COO of Lyft and chair of the Board of Directors.
Bird Global and Bird Canada merged last year to help the company achieve profitability by 2023. The announcement was made after the company filed a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that stated it may need to scale back or discontinue its business, or even seek bankruptcy protection because of overstating revenue for almost two years.
Bird Global shares were trading at 0.11 cents each on Friday.