Bird exits key European and U.S. markets to refocus on financial self-sustainability

Posted: 20 October 2022 | | No comments yet

By exiting key markets across Europe, the U.S., Middle East and Africa, Bird aims to refocus the business on a near-term path to self-sustainability, in order to best deliver on its mission to make cities more liveable in the long-term.

Bird exits key European and U.S. markets to refocus on financial self-sustainability

Credit: Bird

Bird has announced that it is fully exiting three European countries – Germany, Sweden and Norway – and reducing operations in several dozen additional, primarily small to mid-sized cities across the U.S. and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, as part of its plan to refocus the business on a path to financial self-sustainability.

This decision follows Bird’s thorough review of its portfolio of cities, where it worked to determine whether or not they possessed the regulatory framework necessary to facilitate the development of an innovative, competitive, self-sustaining micro-mobility industry. 

Through the review, Bird found that these markets lack such a framework, resulting in an oversupply of vehicles that has led to overcrowded streets and a high but frequently rotating number of competitors. As a result, this invariably leads to sizable losses for operators who, as a result, cannot afford to invest and continue to make micro-mobility safer and more sustainable.

In addition to impacting its customers across these regions, this decision will also affect some of Bird’s employees and contractors in Europe, as well as supporting teams in the U.S. 

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Although Bird is optimistic about the mid to long-term prospects of this industry to grow multiple fold, in the short-term the operator understands that the current macroeconomic conditions have created an environment that requires it to make a clear distinction between markets where it sees a near-term path to fully self-sustainable operations, and those which appear to be longer-term, riskier investments.

This decision will allow Bird to intensify its focus towards cities and countries that have put the right regulatory framework and business environment in place in Europe, the U.S. and the rest of the world. The micro-mobility operator believes that focusing the business on a near-term path to self-sustainability best positions it to deliver on its mission in the long run – to make cities more liveable by reducing car usage, traffic and carbon emission.

Voi Technology CEO and Co-founder Fredrik Hjelm said: “Bird has been a pioneer in the micro-mobility industry and paved the way for many companies like ours. But it’s a tough, complex industry to be in and our sympathies today are with Bird’s employees across Europe that are affected by this news. Micro-mobility isn’t like building a software product or a fintech app – what we’re doing is using innovation, technology and hardware to fundamentally transform how people move and live in cities. It requires dedication, investment and operational excellence on the part of operators and the right regulatory framework in cities in order to operate successfully in this complex industry.”