© Bird General | March 18, 2019
E-scooter company Bird clearing space in the nest
Santa Monica-based electric scooter and bike manufacturer, Bird, layed off approximately 5% of its workforce last week, or about 40 of its 900 employees, as reported at The Information.
According to Gizmodo, a spokesperson for the e-scooter company told The Information the layoffs were a result of the company’s “shifting needs, geographical business demands and our annual talent review process.” As Bird focuses its energies on service centers in local markets, the spokesperson said that it has “shifting geographic workforce needs.” Bird also has active job listings to hire hundreds more employees, as reported by The Information. CEO Travis VanderZanden told The Information recently, “We spent a lot of time in 2018 scaling around the world as quickly as possible. The winter has given us a great opportunity to actually take a step back and really focus on unit economics of the business.” As a result, the company has slashed its fleet size in recently in cities around the country, including Los Angeles, Austin and Phoenix. The company, which launched in 2018, rocketed to a USD 2 billion valuation within its first nine months. Overall, the e-scooter and bike rental market is changing rapidly and softening somewhat, with several major players around the world, such as Lime, Lyft, Yellow, Grin and Motivate laying off, merging or scaling back operations and workforce in order to make or increase profits.