News & Opinion | June 1, 2018 10:38 am

Could a Scooter Start-up Be the Next Silicon Valley Unicorn?

Los Angeles-based Bird is valued at $1 billion and has been called the "Uber of scooters."

scooter
A Bird scooter sits parked on a street corner on April 17, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Los Angeles-based electric scooter start-up Bird reportedly raised $150 million in its latest round of funding led by venture-capital company Sequoia. Bird has already been called the “Uber of scooters” and its latest venture funding round would put its valuation at $1 billion, which Vanity Fair writes would make it the first “electric-scooter unicorn.” To use Bird’s services, riders use a smartphone app to lock and unlock pre-positioned scooters, paying a $1 upfront fee and 15 cents per minute during use. Scooters have recently flooded into the cities of L.A., Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Nashville. People find them faster and easier than cars or public transit, and according to tech analysts, the scooter market is still growing. Anand Sanwal, the C.E.O. of tech data and analytics firm CB Insights said that Bird’s recent funding round and its ten-figure valuation shows that consumers are shifting towards “shared transportation and smart commuting.”

Not everyone thinks Bird will be worth $1 billion, however. Alex Wilhelm, who runs Crunchbase News, thinks that a $400 million valuation is far more logical for the company, reports Vanity Fair.