Close up of a Bird electric scooter
Bird Global is now the largest micro-mobility operator by market share in North America, says the company, after purchasing Spin for US$19 million this week. Photo: Bird Canada

Seeking to solidify its market position, Bird has bought Spin, a former competitor, expanding its micro-mobility coverage across North America

Bird Global is now the largest micro-mobility operator by market share in North America, says the company, after purchasing Spin for US$19 million this week.

Miami-based Bird Global is a significant player in the e-scooter and e-bike rental business. It operates in 350 cities across Canada, the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Australia.

“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,” said Michael Washinushi, Bird interim chief-executive officer in a press release.

Spin was a competitor to Bird with a fleet of 60,000 vehicles in more than 50 North American cities. It was owned prior to the sale by German parent company, TIER Mobility.

Now, with the Spin acquisition, Bird operates in 87 per cent of the 50 most populous cities with shared micro-mobility programs in North America.

“We are excited to join forces with Bird, an innovative brand and a pioneer in micro-mobility. Together Bird and Spin create a powerful player in the North America market,” said Philip Reinckens, CEO of Spin.

Financial struggles persist

Despite the upbeat messaging, Bird continues to be dogged by financial struggles. Late last week, it announced that the New York Stock Exchange has suspended trading of its stock as a result of Bird being unable to keep its market capitalization above US$15 million for 30 consecutive days.

Bird, which went public in 2021 via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company, has seen its stock lose 80 per cent of its value this year.

Its shares will begin trading on the Over-The-Counter exchange on Sept. 25.

In January 2023, Bird Global received a US$32-million investment from Bird Canada, an independent company licensed to use Bird Global’s branding and software since 2019. Along with the investment in 2023, the two companies merged.

Then, in June, Bird Global appointed John Bitove, co-founder of the Canadian company, as chairperson of its board of directors. As well, Bird Canada’s founder and CEO Stewart Lyons became president of Bird Global.

Spin reported US$45 million in net revenues in the 12 months ending in June 30, 2023. The deal may bring some US$20 million in synergies savings, says Bird.

“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 Washinushi.

In the statement announcing the its delisting from the NYSE, Bird said “the company does not believe the current market cap is reflective of the intrinsic value of the business” and that it intends to appeal the NYSE’s decision.

Editor’s Note: This story was revised on Sept. 24, 2023, to include information about Bird’s delisting from the NYSE.

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