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Bird acquires e-scooter brand from TIER Mobility for $19M: What’s next for users of Spin?

Spin scooters
Picture credits: Spin

US-based shared micromobility company Bird has acquired Spin, an e-scooter and e-bike rental company for $19 million. Previously, Spin was bought by Berlin-based Tier Mobility from Ford in 2022. According to Bird, the purchase makes it the largest micromobility operator in North America.

It has been announced that the money has been split into $10 million upfront cash, $6 million for vendor takeback and $3 million as a hold back. Notably, the acquisition comes a year after Bird had to let go of 23% of its workforce due to struggles to keep up with expenses.

Why Bird acquired Spin?

Spin, which is headquartered in San Francisco, has a strong presence in North America with operations in over 50 cities and university campuses with minimal overlap with Bird’s existing footprint. This acquisition increases Bird’s footprint in the US, solidifying its position as the leading micromobility operator in North America by market share and by number of markets serviced.

Bird plans to leverage this leadership position to further expand its operations in multiple profitable key cities, including Baltimore, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C, one of the top micromobility markets for cash flow in North America, and major university campuses such as Penn State University and the University of Michigan. Along with Spin, Bird now operates in 87% of the 50 most populous cities in the United States and Canada that have a shared micromobility program.

In addition to this, Spin brings a fleet of over 60,000 vehicles, a significant portion of which are new, state-of-the-art vehicles. Spin is a pioneer at deploying sidewalk detection technology at scale, and its fleet of swappable-battery vehicles are complementary to Bird’s.

Michael Washinushi, Bird Interim CEO said, “Bird and Spin have many strategic synergies, which we believe will have an immediate impact in the third quarter. We are thrilled to welcome the Spin team to the Bird family and excited to continue to execute on our shared vision of a more liveable, sustainable future. Due to the success we are having in improving Bird’s financial performance we are able to make acquisitions like Spin today.”

“We are excited to join forces with Bird, an innovative brand and a pioneer in micromobility. Together Bird and Spin create a powerful player in the North America market — one that is focused on responsible partnership, bringing reliable alternative transportation options to the communities we serve, and creating a more sustainable future,” said Philip Reinckens, CEO of Spin.

What’s next for Spin?

Despite acquiring Spin to enhance its presence in the US, Tier faced many challenges in maintaining its market leadership and achieving profitability. Post the acquisition by Bird, which is also struggling to reach profitability, Tier would continue to operate as a distinct entity with its own app and Spin will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird Rides Inc.

Bird does not plan to change Spin’s operating model. It has also been said that no personnel decisions are being taken and no market closures are happening in the immediate term.

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