Micromobility giant Bird has lost nearly $100 million while revenue shrank to $15 million in Q1 of 2019, according to The Information article. The company had only $100 million left in cash, after raising more than $700 million over a year and a half ago. The publication points out that one of the main reasons for such decline was winter, as scooter companies often struggle in the colder months.
Bird CEO Ryan Fujiu didn’t leave the report unanswered and published a response on LinkedIn, demonstrating positive unit economics of the company. Fujiu says the company is profitable on every ride, across all vehicle types in all cities, making $1.27 on every ride after all costs are deducted. Fujiu also stated that the company has 4-5x Year-to-Year growth rate. He also contested the fact that the company has lost $100 million in Q1 of 2019, saying it was a one-time write-off of depreciated retail vehicles. Fujiu, however, did point out that the business is affected by seasonality and the company’s bid to enter the Southern Hemisphere would balance its decreased demand during wintertime in more developed Northern markets.
Carsharing company Turo joins the unicorn club
Carsharing company Turo has recently raised $250 million from IAC, pushing its valuation over $1 billion and thus joining so called unicorn club. The deal also makes IAC the largest shareholder of Turo. The company is based around Peer-to-Peer carsharing and has over 10 million users worldwide. According to the company data, an average owner of a car can earn around $550 a month by sharing their car for 10 days.
Founded in 2010, the platform currently has around 400,000 vehicles listed and generated around $250 million in revenue last year. It operates in 49 states of US (all except New York).
Via launches autonomous bus service
Ride-sharing company Via has partnered up with BusBot to launch a self-driving bus pilot program in New South Wales, Australia. Other project partners include local bus operator Busways, local government agency Transport for New South Wales and startup EasyMile. The pilot program will serve senior citizens who currently lack access to the public transportation system. The service will be in the pilot stage for 22 weeks and will be free during that period.
The system works similar to other Via services launched in the past. A user hails a shuttle using BusBot mobile app, after which Via’s route-optimizing algorithm calculates the best path for multiple riders. The service will be using EZ10 bus, with special sensors, failsafe and redundant braking system and emergency buttons. The bus is capable of Level 4 autonomy.
Via, founded in 2012, also operates branded shuttle service, ViaVan in partnership with Mercedes-Benz in several regions.