Just weeks prior, the startup closed $150 million through a Series C funding round led by Sequoia Capital, which had Bird valued at a reported $1 billion. An additional $110 million was raised in March at a $300 million valuation, and the niche transportation startup shows no signs of slowing down their aggressive fundraising.
Bird’s runaway valuation may be attributed to the popular investment theory that predicts that ride-sharing giants like Lyft and Uber will soon look to consolidate the electric shooter market, making Bird the next possible acquisition target within the near future, according to Axios. Adding fuel to the speculation, Lyft just announced that it is seeking a permit to launch an e-scooter rental service in San Francisco and Uber recently acquired dockless e-bike service Jump Bikes for a reported amount of $200 million.
Another major reason for this incredible fundraising trajectory is perhaps attributed to the fact that investors are likely looking to build geographic moats for their respective investments. These moats undoubtedly require significant capital, as resources must be applied to both normal expansion operations and city regulatory compliance. Fitting this growth model, Bird is reportedly setting up an office in China.
Bird is also facing mounting competition, as more e-scooter startups are now following a similar fundraising path. San Mateo-based Lime is in the process of raising a $250 million venture round led by Google’s investment arm, GV. The startup expanded from bikes to scooters in February 2018, around the time it closed a $70 million funding round.
E-scooters have become so prevalent that the city of San Francisco recently announced a ban starting June 4 on companies that rent out shared scooters without a permit. This new legislation, which was passed in an effort to reduce the potential for accidents, will also limit the number of scooters a company can make available at any given time.
Bird has not yet commented on the latest fundraising efforts or estimated valuation.