Micromobility merger sees Bird buy Spin for $19m

  • September 25, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Electric transportation firm Bird has acquired shared electric bike and scooter operator Skinny Labs, which does business as Spin, from Berlin-based Tier Mobility.

The transaction makes Bird the largest micromobility operator in North America by market share and is expected to be immediately accretive to earnings.

Spin is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bird Ride. The purchase price was $19m, including $10m in upfront cash, $6m in a vendor take back and $3m as a hold back.

For the 12 months ended June 30, 2023, Spin delivered approximately $45m in net revenue, bringing the combined net revenue for Bird and Spin to approximately $265m for that period. The transaction is expected to have upwards of $20m in synergies and be immediately accretive to earnings for Bird, due in part to recent operational restructuring.

Spin, which is headquartered in San Francisco, has a strong presence in North America including operations in over 50 cities and university campuses with little overlap with Bird’s existing footprint. The acquisition increases Bird’s geographical footprint, solidifying its position as the leading micromobility operator in North America by market share and by number of markets serviced.

The company plans to leverage this position to expand its operations in multiple key cities such as Baltimore, Salt Lake City and Washington DC, one of the top micromobility markets for cash flow in North America, as well as university campuses such as Penn State University and the University of Michigan. Combined with Spin, Bird now operates in 87% of the 50 most populous cities in the USA and Canada that have a shared micromobility programme.

“Spin is a great financial and strategic acquisition for Bird and we expect this acquisition will enable us to achieve long-term sustainable profitability,” said Michael Washinushi, Bird interim CEO. “In addition to our overall market leadership in North America, the company now holds a leading market share position in key markets, more new vehicles, cutting-edge technology and a significantly stronger financial position. Bird and Spin have many strategic synergies, which we believe will have an immediate impact in the third quarter. We are thrilled to welcome the Spin team to the Bird family and excited to continue to execute on our shared vision of a more liveable, sustainable future. Due to the success we are having in improving Bird’s financial performance we are able to make acquisitions like Spin today.”

Spin brings Bird a fleet of over 60,000 vehicles, a significant portion of which are new, state-of-the-art vehicles. Along with Bird, Spin has been a pioneer at deploying sidewalk detection technology at scale, and Spin’s fleet of swappable-battery vehicles are complementary to Bird’s. Spin has earned its position as a resource for riders and cities alike and will continue to operate the brand independently in many cities.

“We are excited to join forces with Bird, an innovative brand and a pioneer in micromobility,” said Philip Reinckens, CEO of Spin (www.spin.app). “Together Bird and Spin create a powerful player in the North America market, one that is focused on responsible partnership, bringing reliable alternative transportation options to the communities we serve, and creating a more sustainable future.”

Bird (www.bird.co) is an electric vehicle company dedicated to bringing affordable, environmentally friendly transportation such as e-scooters and e-bikes to communities across the world. Bird’s cleaner, affordable and on-demand mobility products are available in 350 cities, primarily across Canada, USA, Europe, Middle East and Australia.

The transaction was supported by MidCap Financial Investment and MidCap Financial Trust, managed or advised by Apollo Capital Management.