CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

E-Scooter Startup Bird Declares Bankruptcy Following Delisting

Bird scooters

Bird, the once high-flying electric scooter startup, has filed for bankruptcy.

The Miami-based company announced its Chapter 11 filing two years after going public, one year after warning bankruptcy could be on the horizon and three months after being delisted from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

According to a Wednesday (Dec. 20) company news release, Bird will use the court-supervised bankruptcy process to begin the sale of its assets, a process the company hopes to complete in the next 90 to 120 days. Bird says it will remain in operation through this process.

“We are making progress towards profitability and aim to accelerate that progress by right-sizing our capital structure through this restructuring,” Bird Interim CEO Michael Washinushi said in a news release.

Washinushi became interim chief executive in August — the third person to hold that position since last year — as part of a string of leadership changes that also included the appointment of a new chief financial officer and chief technology officer.

Late last year, Bird released quarterly earnings warning that there was “substantial doubt” about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, despite closing its operations in a number of cities, an earlier management shakeup and renovating debt payments.

In September, Bird was delisted from the NYSE after the exchange determined it was not in compliance with the rule requiring companies to maintain a market cap of above $15 million for 30 consecutive days. The company said it would appeal.

Bird went public in November of 2001 through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal, after becoming one of the fastest startups to reach unicorn status with its $1 billion valuation in 2018.

A number of published reports Wednesday on Bird’s bankruptcy filing note that this year has seen a downturn in the micromobility sector.

The industry has seen other setbacks, such as a recent measure in Paris banning electric scooter rentals despite the city’s reputation as a pioneer in the urban transportation market.

As covered here earlier in the year, advocates of the ban argue that rental scooters clog sidewalks, play a role in a growing number of traffic accidents and injuries and reduce usage of public transit.

The electric scooter companies contend that they have worked to refine use of the scooters, and that they lower carbon emissions by eliminating trips by car.