A startup in the West Coast scooter-sharing craze is already worth $1 billion -- and it's raising again at a $2 billion valuation

  • Just weeks ago, electric scooter-sharing startup Bird snagged $US150 million in a Series C funding round, giving the startup a $US1 billion valuation.
  • Now, the company is reportedly raising again and seeking a $US2 billion valuation.

On the heels of a funding round that gave electric scooter-sharing startup Bird the elusive “unicorn” status, the company is reportedly raising again and seeking a $US2 billion valuation.

This is a first for the tech industry, Axios reporter Dan Primack reported on Tuesday. Bird snagged $US150 million in a Series C funding round just weeks ago, giving the startup a $US1 billion valuation. That’s on top of the $US115 million it raised in March.

Primack wrote that tech investors have “never before participated in such a rapid and rocketing price spike.”

He credited Bird’s explosive valuation to a popular investment theory: Ride-hailing giants like Didi, Uber, and Lyft are all making moves in the electric sharing scooter market, which could make Bird an attractive acquisition target in the near future.

Bird faces stiff competition from rival Lime, a bike- and scooter-sharing startup that’s backed by Alphabet’s venture arm GV and Andreessen Horowitz. Last week, Axois reported that Lime is raising $US250 million in new funding at a $US750 million valuation.

In San Francisco, city officials voted to regulate the glut of shared electric scooters that startups are putting all over the city. San Francisco now requires those startups to apply for a permit before operating in the city, and has the authority to impound any scooter from a startup without a permit. At least seven companies, including Bird, Lime, Uber, and Lyft, are vying for a maximum of five scooter permits in San Francisco.

The city has received numerous complaints since the scooters first descended on San Francisco. Residents have complained of the scooters routinely blocking footpaths and building entrances, causing people to trip, and making footpaths less accessible for people who use wheelchairs. Residents have also reported people riding the scooters, which can reach speeds of up to 15 mph, on footpaths, which is illegal in the city.

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