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Bird doubles down on selling electric scooters directly to customers

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Fowl doubles down on promoting electrical scooters on to prospects

Fowl, the electrical scooter startup that helped kick off the shared micromobility growth, is doubling down on private possession. Over the weekend, the corporate unveiled its new, foldable electrical scooter, the Fowl Air, which may be bought for $599.

It isn’t essentially the most highly effective scooter available on the market, with a prime pace of 16 mph (25 km/h) and a variety of 16 miles (25 km). However at $599, the Fowl Air is considerably cheaper than the corporate’s first retail scooter, the Bird One, which retails for $1,299. That places the Fowl Air in the identical class as different mid-priced electrical scooters like the Razor E Prime III or Segway Ninebot’s Max.

The Fowl Air is designed in-house by Fowl’s workforce of “aerospace and automotive engineers,” the corporate says — although the corporate received’t disclose its manufacturing associate. The corporate manufactured its Fowl Zero scooters in cooperation with Okai, a Chinese language scooter firm, and beforehand sourced scooters from Segway Ninebot.

Fowl first made the shift to promoting scooters in mid-2019. When the corporate launched in Santa Monica, California, in 2017, its fleet was comprised largely of client scooters made by Xiaomi and Segway Ninebot, which have been by no means meant for heavy fleet use and depreciated quickly. Bird lost money on each trip, nevertheless it managed to scale up after elevating tens of millions of {dollars} in enterprise capital funding. Fowl additionally affords its scooters for monthly rentals.

Fowl introduced that it had raised $75 million in a Sequence D funding spherical final January. Since then, the corporate has misplaced two of its bids for citywide permits in Paris and Seattle, and it won one in Chicago.

Initially, COVID-19 brought the scooter sharing industry to a halt. Ridership plummeted as scooter corporations yanked their automobiles from metropolis streets. Bird and Lime, the 2 largest corporations when it comes to fleet dimension and valuation, went via mass layoffs, eliminating round 580 full-time positions. Uber offloaded its Jump shared bike and scooter business on Lime as a part of an funding that may see Lime’s valuation drop by almost 80 %.

However the trade is slowly recovering, because of a resurgence in curiosity in biking and different alternate types of transportation. As they search for protected methods to get round, metropolis dwellers are utilizing scooters for longer journeys, too. Final week, Lime reported that on common scooter trips have been 34 % longer in length and 18 % farther in distance because the pandemic began.


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