Bird, the scooter sharing startup, is gearing up to roll out a new program in New Zealand, Canada and Latin America dubbed Bird Platform, in which it sells vehicles to entrepreneurs at cost and gets 20 percent of the ride revenue.
According to reports, Bird will first roll out the platform in New Zealand, where it has already partnered with a local startup to manage its fleet of scooters. The Bird scooters are slated to hit streets in the country starting next week.
Bird Chief Executive Travis VanderZanden told the newswire the platform aims to provide scooters to local entrepreneurs in areas where the company wasn’t planning to launch. “That way, our interests are super aligned,” he said in the report.
Entrepreneurs using Bird Platform are responsible for recharging the scooters, maintaining them and obtaining the proper permits in the cities where they wish to operate. The platform was announced in November of 2018, with plans to get it up and running in December. The executive said it took longer than expected to work out all the details and kinks, and added that Bird Platform is trying to stay with one startup per region.
Ultimately, the company expects each region to operate hundreds and eventually thousands of scooters. Five entrepreneurs have already inked deals with Bird through the platform.
“Bird Platform is complementary,” VanderZanden said in the report. “We think they’ll be happy staying on Bird Platform. We want to provide the best vehicles and best technology, as long as they continue to invest and scale in the region.”
Bird is among the ride-sharing startups that have been garnering a lot of attention from venture capitalists. To date, the company has raised more than $400 million and, according to media reports, is currently in the process of amassing another $300 million.