Bird pulls out of US and European cities

  • October 24, 2022
  • Steve Rogerson

Micromobility provider Bird is pulling out of Germany, Sweden and Norway and winding down operations in several dozen small- to medium-sized cities across the USA and Emea.

This, it said in a blog post, will lead to job losses and cancelling contracts with distributors.

It blamed some areas has not having the necessary regulatory framework for a competitive self-sustaining micromobility industry.

“It has become clear that some markets lack such a framework, resulting in an oversupply of vehicles that has led to overcrowded streets and a high but frequently rotating number of competitors,” said the blog. “All this invariably leads to sizable losses for operators who, as a result, cannot afford to invest and continue to make micromobility safer and more sustainable.”

It said it was “saddened” by not being able to continue to support those customers who have come to rely on Bird electric scooters and bikes as their first choice for transportation.

“This difficult decision will unfortunately also have an impact on some of our employees and contractors in Europe, as well as on supporting teams in the USA,” said the blog. “We would like to thank all our employees and partners for their dedication and contributions to the business.”

Given the strength of the long-term tailwinds for micromobility and the size of the addressable market, Bird said it was optimistic about the mid to long-term prospects of this industry to grow multiple fold.

“However, in the short-term the current macroeconomic conditions have created an environment that requires us to increase our level of financial discipline and make a clear distinction between markets where we see a near-term path to fully self-sustainable operations, and those which appear to be longer-term, riskier investments,” it said. “This decision will allow us to intensify our focus towards cities and countries that have put the right regulatory framework and business environment in place in Europe, the USA and the rest of the world. Our commitment to these several hundred cities and the millions of riders whom we serve will only be reinforced.”

The blog said it had to make the tough decision in the interest of the future of the company.

“However, based on continued ridership growth and positive feedback from our city partners, we have never been more confident in the relevance and urgency of our mission – making cities more liveable by reducing car usage, traffic and carbon emission,” it said. “We believe that focusing our business on a near-term path to self-sustainability best positions Bird to deliver on this mission in the long run.”

The decision it said followed a thorough review of its portfolio of cities.