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Bird Takes Flight on a New Path: Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Signals Strategic Shift

The California-based micromobility marvel and Silicon Valley's once-quickest unicorn, got into Chapter 11 bankruptcy
By Josefina Dipaolo
December 26, 2023

In a surprising turn of events, Bird, the Californian micromobility giant and once Silicon Valley's fastest unicorn, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Florida federal court. What was once a soaring success story, achieving a remarkable $1 billion valuation in under a year, has now taken an unexpected detour. Let's delve into the twists and turns that led to this moment and explore what lies ahead for Bird.

Bird's meteoric rise was fueled by the pandemic's push for green mobility, a lineup of last-mile transportation solutions, and a charismatic CEO. However, the challenges started to mount in 2022. A workforce reduction of 23% in June hinted at financial struggles. The revelation that the company had overstated revenue by recognizing unpaid customer rides over two years added to the woes.

The latest development involves Bird's Chapter 11 filing and a "stalking horse" agreement with existing lenders. The micromobility disruptor faced delisting from the New York Stock Exchange in September, failing to meet market capitalization requirements. Despite these setbacks, Bird Canada and Bird Europe remain unaffected, operating independently.

As Bird navigates the complexities of bankruptcy proceedings, it has filed customary "First Day Motions" to ensure a smooth transition. These motions encompass employee wages, benefits, and operational provisions, aiming to minimize the impact on city partners, riders, employees, and other stakeholders. What lies ahead for Bird remains uncertain, but the company is determined to weather the storm.

The once-celebrated unicorn is now at a crossroads, grappling with financial turbulence and strategic shifts. Bird's journey through Chapter 11 signals a pivotal moment, and as the court weighs in on the First Day Motions, the fate of this micromobility trailblazer hangs in the balance.

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