To help it continue operating, the company said, it had secured $25 million in financing from Apollo Global Management’s commercial lending unit, MidCap Financial, and the firm’s second-lien lenders. Michael Washinushi, Bird’s interim chief executive, will stay on as the company pursues a turnaround plan that could involve selling assets.
Other start-ups in the sector have struggled. Micromobility.com, formerly known as Helbiz, was delisted from the Nasdaq on Tuesday; and another rival, Tier Mobility, had its third round of layoffs last month.
Bird, one of the fastest start-ups to reach a billion-dollar valuation and become a so-called unicorn, has long positioned itself as a partner to help cities go green. It was started in 2017 and expanded quickly, fueled by big-name Silicon Valley investors including Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners. It raised more than a half-billion in venture funding and went public in 2021 after merging with a shell corporation known as a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC.
But Bird’s losses piled up, and the company was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in September. That came after it admitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it had overstated its revenue for more than two years; its founder, Travis VanderZanden, left in June.
Bird scooters can be found in more than 350 cities, from Rome to San Francisco. (The firm’s Canadian and European businesses are not part of the bankruptcy, Bird noted, and will continue to operate as normal.)
There have been plenty of complaints about abandoned rental scooters cluttering sidewalks and parks in recent years. Paris banned e-scooter rentals this year, a first for a European capital, though it still allows privately owned e-scooters.