In a strategic move that solidifies its status as a major player in the micromobility landscape, U.S.-based shared micromobility giant Bird has acquired Spin, a prominent e-scooter and e-bike rental company, for a noteworthy sum of $19 million. This acquisition not only strengthens Bird's foothold in North America but also elevates it to the position of the largest micromobility operator in the region.
The financial arrangement for the acquisition comprises $10 million in upfront cash, $6 million designated as vendor take back, and a $3 million holdback. This landmark acquisition comes on the heels of Bird's prior workforce reduction of 23% as it grappled with financial challenges.
Headquartered in San Francisco, Spin has carved out a robust presence in North America, serving more than 50 cities and university campuses, with minimal overlap with Bird's existing operations. By absorbing Spin into its ecosystem, Bird significantly broadens its footprint across the U.S., firmly establishing itself as the leading micromobility operator in North America in terms of market share and market coverage.
This strategic move enables Bird to extend its operations into several lucrative cities, including Baltimore, Salt Lake City, and Washington D.C. – a thriving micromobility hub in North America. It also strengthens Bird's presence on major university campuses, including Penn State University and the University of Michigan. Together with Spin, Bird now boasts operations in 87% of the 50 most populous cities in the United States and Canada with shared micromobility programs.
Spin contributes a fleet of over 60,000 vehicles to Bird, a substantial portion of which are modern, state-of-the-art micromobility solutions. Notably, Spin is recognized for deploying sidewalk detection technology on a large scale, and its fleet of swappable-battery vehicles complements Bird's existing offerings seamlessly.
Michael Washinushi, Bird's Interim CEO, expressed optimism about the acquisition, stating, "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."
Philip Reinckens, CEO of Spin, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the partnership's focus on responsible collaboration, the provision of reliable alternative transportation options, and the pursuit of a sustainable future.
The acquisition of Spin by Bird marks a significant shift for Tier Mobility, which had previously acquired Spin from Ford in 2022. Tier faced challenges in maintaining market leadership and achieving profitability. Post-acquisition by Bird, Tier will continue to operate independently with its own app, while Spin will function as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird Rides Inc.
Importantly, Bird intends to maintain Spin's operating model, with no immediate plans for personnel changes or market closures. This acquisition underscores Bird's commitment to strengthening its position in the micromobility sector while preserving the distinct identity of Spin.