B2B Payments

Employees Start To Expense eScooter Rides

The rise of Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing services on the corporate expense report represented a significant shift in the ground transportation sector and how business travelers embrace such on-demand services.

Now, data from T&E solution provider Certify has identified another shift in this market. Employees are beginning to expense electric scooters to their employers, according to recently-published Certify data.

Certify analyzed expensed items that passed through its platform for the first quarter of 2019, and its Certify SpendSmart Report found Bird and Lime dominated the eScooter expense category, with Bird accounting for 46 percent of the segment, and Lime grabbing up 42 percent. Razor and Scoot saw 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

The company did not reveal how much eScooters make up of overall ground transportation expenditure for the quarter, however researchers did note that the average cost of an Bird ride expensed via the platform was $5.01, while Lime was $5.86.

“Our findings are significant in that they demonstrate continued interest in sharing economy services among businesses and business travelers,” said Certify CEO Robert Neveu in a statement, according to AccountingToday reports. “The emergence of scooters-as-a-service shows business traveler are time and cost conscious — if there’s a better way to get around, the business travel community will find it.”

Uber, which owns a majority stake in Lime, continued to dominate the overall business expense category, snatching up 12.04 percent of all expenses in Q1. Starbucks, in second place, accounted for 3.94 percent, while Amazon accounted for 3.78 percent.

In ground transportation, Uber accounted for 73 percent of ridesharing expenses, while Lyft made up 22 percent of the category, a 4 percent increase from the same period in 2018.

Earlier this year reports in Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, said both Lime and Bird were seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in new funding, yet both were doing so at lower valuations.

Lime reportedly sought to raise $300 million at a valuation of about $2 billion, while Bird eyed $300 million for a similar valuation.

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