No company has ever elicited so many questions by friends, colleagues, entrepreneurs, fellow VCs and journalists as has Bird, the company that pioneered the electronic scooter as a service market. Until recently it was headquartered 2 blocks from our offices in Santa Monica so we literally saw it emerge under our feet and we proudly invested in the last 3 rounds of financing.
Today the company officially announced its most recent round of capital — having raised $300 million — less than 18 months from when the company was created so I thought it was probably a good time to weigh in on the questions I get asked most frequently and why we’re so excited about Bird.
How Could Bird Really Be Worth The Reported $2 Bn Valuation?
While I promised not to comment on the exact valuation you can assume that it is very large and perhaps the fastest rise from zero to what some have called a “unicorn” valuation. I understand that this has caused some journalists and many an arm-chair Twitter commentator to shake their collective heads that some of us may have lost ours.
While this reaction to such a valuation is understandable, to anybody who has seen the meteoric rise in consumer demand and actual revenue the valuation is much less surprising and may turn out to be quite conservative. As I like to tell people who ask about Bird, “consumers have literally voted with their feet.” The company has done zero paid marketing.
Count me in the initial skeptics. The company launched a trial service in Santa Monica just last year and when I first saw the scooters (parked literally outside of our office) I was convinced nobody would want to ride them. Over the course of the first few months, I saw a few people out on the street taking Birds and then a steady uptick in riders.