You know, I think what they're experiencing is, uh, Winter. This might be a foreign concept for people who live in sunny Santa Monica, so I'll explain: for about 5 months in most of the US, it gets really cold outside, kind of like your freezer. Crystalized water falls from the sky, and riding a scooter becomes both dangerous and very uncomfortable, so most people don't do it. Unlike, say, Uber, your revenue will likely take a real big hit during this time, instead of increasing.
More bad news for you, this does happen every year. Heck, in many of your largest markets, like Minneapolis and Chicago, it can last up to 8 months!
I'm available for hire if you need boots on the ground in this part of the country. First recommendation: Maybe don't keep hundreds of scooters on the streets during heavy snowfall! As far as I could tell, the total scooter capacity didn't decrease substantially over the past four months, no one was riding them, and I'm sure they took a lot of damage from the bad weather. Hunker down and wait for the sun!
Seriously, I've been noticing the cold. I haven't had to wear long pants for the whole season in over a decade. It feels so normal, going back to how it was in my childhood, but I know it's only a brief respite from climate change.
You mean global warming.
It describes more accurately the situation we are in.
I'm sorry what? Only if they were measuring in kelvin does that qualify as "cold" let alone "really cold".
Edited to remove sarcastic wording.
Bird's scooters cost ~$500, probably make under a buck a ride in profits, and I suspect their average lifetime is well under 500 rides.
That seems like quite the barrier to me. Also crazy to think that 1/3 of a billion dollars is considered trivial barrier.
If you throw in NEA's new fund, that's five funds where $300M is less than 10% if they did the whole round, and if the economics are great, a bunch of growth equity funds.
It's crazy to me that you'd invest that much without having more data on the unit economics given none of these companies even have an advantage on making the underlying scooter. The more scooters you have and the more market share you have, the faster your bleed money. If the unit economics were great with off the rack scooters, what's to stop Lyft/Uber from adding a scooter option given they already have the demand side of "trying to get somewhere"?
they are probably (unit) profitable (or operationally cabable of being so), otherwise, they wouldn't have raised a $300MM series C last year.
but they’re probably losing money in capital costs and overhead (marketing and the like), so overall unprofitable.
lyft was (is) principally both a hedge against uber and a way for VCs that didn’t get into uber (ever or early enough) to make a bet in the space (the top 2-3 companies in a new market usually survive to a decent exit), so profitability wasn’t an important metric for funding (but the probability of surviving to exit very much was).
Just charge per minute and allow the owner to track the position continuously.
I used ZipCar when I lived in Chicago and Seattle. Great service. Didn't need to own car in either city because of ZipCar.
I've never used one of the Bird-type scooters, but I used to commute to the marina in SF on Scoot. It really was the most fantastic way I've never gotten to (and from) work.
This is just a car rental for a shorter amount of time. And in D.C. we had something called ZipCar which was pretty close to that.
It's like tourists in rental cars but worse, since these people often have never owned a car and drive very infrequently. I know people who never drove until their 30s then got a drivers license just to access zipcars. They're exceptionally bad drivers.
Personally I prefer these people use electric scooters than N-thousand-pound >100HP vehicles.
Alas, as a cooperative it's not profit oriented and there are certain restrictions, notably that vehicles are location bound and need to be picked up and returned at fixed stations.
That said, with a bit of planning it releases you from the dirty details of car ownership and this for much, much less money.
There are other ventures in the form as you describe it (private ownership loaned out). But to the best of my knowledge that never caught on. (German and French only)
So yes, it’s out of hand, it’s inherently unprofitable and cheap Chinese scooters are probably not a net environmental benefit. It’s still one of those things that millions of people apparently need to figure out the hard way.
Or you could have just looked at—-you know—-actual bike and scooter rental companies. They’re small mom and pop shops. No Hertz for scooters. There’s a reason.
Bird investors failed to consider that this isn’t true for scooters. Each catchment area is isolated from the next.
This is food delivery app, photo sharing app, social media app and so and so forth, all over again.
Not saying they are necessarily not viable, just that is how the rest of the world sees us.