Scooter startup Bird is betting on the French market in a significant way. The company plans to open up its biggest European office in Paris. Eventually, Bird wants to hire 1,000 people by mid-2021, which is a meaningful number for a company that has been around for a couple of years.
Paris is an important market for Bird, and all scooter startups in general. It’s a relatively small city — when it comes to footprint, Paris is smaller than San Francisco. But it’s also a dense city. And of course, there are a ton of tourists who come to Paris just for a few days.
That’s why 12 different companies launched a scooter-sharing service in Paris (yes, twelve). But Les Échos recently reported that many of them have already left the city. Lime, Bird, Circ, Dott, Jump and B-Mobility are still around.
It’s a capital-intensive industry, and Bird has already raised a ton of money to outlive the competition. But money is just one thing.
Opening an office in Paris is also important to show city officials that Bird is serious about this market. Last month, the City of Paris announced that it would limit the number of scooter companies in Paris. They will hand out two or three licenses to operate. And Bird certainly wants to be one of them.
Bird will also use its Paris hub to educate users about safety. The company plans to hand out free helmets if you attend a safety training session.