Micromobility Company Bird Acquires Another Competitor

Posted by at 3:45 pm on January 28, 2020

Bird has announced that it will acquire Circ, a leading electric scooter rental business in Europe and the Middle East. The acquisition is the latest sign of consolidation among e-scooter companies as the quest for a profitable business model intensifies. As part of the deal, Bird will take on 300 of Circ’s employees, many of whom are based in Berlin. Bird also announced a $75 million extension to its Series D funding round, bringing the total size of the round to $350 million — though it would not disclose the amount for the transaction.

The Santa Monica-based company bought West Coast rival Scoot for a reported $25 million in early 2019. The acquisition allowed Bird to get back into the lucrative San Francisco market, after initially getting shut out of the city in 2018. Until recently, Scoot was just one of two scooter companies licensed to operate in San Francisco. (The city recently approved Uber’s Jump, Spin, and Lime, while eliminating Skip’s permit.)

Circ, which currently operates in 40 cities across 14 European countries, in addition to United Arab Emirates, recently laid off dozens of workers at its headquarters and regional locations, citing a shift to focus on “efficiency and ops excellence.” Around 50 people, or less than 10 percent of employees, lost their jobs. Bird has made cuts, too, laying off two dozen employees at its other scooter acquisition, Scoot.

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