Scooter startup Bird just acquired rival Scoot, one of the two companies that beat out Uber and Lyft to operate in San Francisco

Bird
  • Scooter rental service Bird has acquired its competitor, Scoot, the two companies announced on Wednesday.
  • Scoot is one of two companies that has been permitted to rent scooters in the city of San Francisco under a pilot program.
  • Scoot was last valued at $US71.5 million.
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On-demand scooter service Bird has acquired Scoot, the two companies announced on Wednesday. Scoot has been one of the only scooter rental companies allowed to operate in San Francisco after the city began cracking down on usage of the rentable two-wheeled vehicles last year.

The companies did not disclose the terms of the transaction, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal was valued at close to $US25 million. That price would be noticeably lower than Scoot’s most recent valuation of $US71.5 million, according to Pitchbook. Scoot will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird. The news comes after TechCrunch reported earlier this month that Bird was in talks to acquire the scooter startup.

The rental scooter trend has boomed over the last year, with startups like Bird and Lime as well as transportation titans like Uber and Lyft offering services that allow users to rent two-wheeled vehicles with their smartphones. The acquisition will give Bird a bigger presence in San Francisco, considering Scoot is one of two scooter rental firms allowed to operate in the city.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency launched a pilot program last October that put more than 1,200 electric scooters from Scoot and rival Spin in the city. The program came after the city cracked down on scooter usage following complaints about the vehicles blocking footpaths and renters riding in the public’s right-of-way. While companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Bird all applied for permits to rent electric scooters in the city, only Scoot and Spin were chosen.

Bird has since worked around this obstacle by renting out its scooters on a monthly basis. But the acquisition of Scoot will give the company more flexibility in how it rents out its vehicles.

“With Bird, our mission remains the same, but the scale at which we will pursue it, and the vehicles we will offer will be so much better for our riders and the cities we serve,” Michael Keating, Scoot’s founder and president said in a press release.

In addition to the kick scooters it rents in San Francisco, Scoot also offers mopeds for rent. The acquisition will allow Scoot to expand its footprint as well, since Bird operates in dozens of cities across North America as well as some areas in Europe.

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