Electric scooter startup Bird to go public in £1.6bn SPAC deal Leave a comment

Bird Rides announced a merger with Switchback II Corp, a blank-cheque company, to go public in a deal that values the electric scooter company at £1.6bn.

SPACs are listed companies that use the proceeds from an IPO to buy a private firm and take it public.

Read more: E-scooter firm Pure Electric to open stores in Paris and Madrid in European expansion

The scooter rental company said the deal will be supported by a private investment of $160m from Fidelity Management & Research Co and other investors. It will provide $428m in cash to the combined entity.

Bird, which already operates in over 200 cities, intends to use the cash to move into more cities. It plans to work closely with local entrepreneurs to manage its fleets, said Travis VanderZanden, founder and chief executive of Bird, in an interview according to Reuters.

A number of micromobility companies, like Bird, saw their demand fall last year due to the pandemic. For the Californian-based company, their revenue in 2020 came to $95m – representing a 37 per cent drop year-on-year. But business has been recovering and the company expects its revenue to jump to $188m for 2021.

It is not the only micomobility company to use a SPAC to access capital quickly. Earlier this year European startup Helbiz, also went public through a SPAC in a merger with GreenVision Acquisition Corp. 

Read more: British electric vehicle startup Arrival secures $13.6bn valuation in New York

The Californian-born startup said it will be renamed to Bird Global and listed on the New York Stock Exchange after the deal is closed in the third quarter.

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