July 20, 2024

Electric scooter Bird Global steers into bankruptcy protection in bid to repair its finances

FILE – Sharable electric scooters by Bird Rides, Inc. wait on downtown sidewalks for pedestrian use, Oct. 2, 2019, in downtown Cincinnati. Electric scooter company Bird Global announced Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, that it has filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to stabilize its wobbly finances. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

MIAMI (AP) — Electric scooter company Bird Global announced Wednesday that it has filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to stabilize its wobbly finances.

The move marks a sobering comedown for a formerly high-flying startup that was trying to make it easier to get around big cities in an environmentally friendly way with its fleet of electric scooters. The concept attracted about $500 million in investments from prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firms such as Sequoia Capital and Accel Partners before becoming a publicly traded company in 2021.

Now, the Miami-based company finds itself struggling to survive after losing more than $430 million since the end of 2021.

Bird has lined up $25 million in financing from MidCap Financial, a division of Apollo Global Management, as it tries to reorganize under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in Florida.

Michael Washinushi, Bird’s interim CEO, predicted the company will be able to bounce back and continue its “mission to make cities more livable” by providing vehicles that don’t clog the roads nor burn fuel. But investors seemed doubtful as Bird’s stock lost nearly 80% of its remaining value Wednesday to close at 8 cents per share, a far cry from its price of about $154 at the end of 2021.

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