The electric scooter wars of 2019

Throughout 2019, a number of mobility companies launched in additional markets, while many pulled out of areas that no longer served them. Meanwhile, transportation startups continued to raise more money even as they laid off employees, a sign that industry consolidation has officially begun.

In October, Bird raised a $275 million Series D round at a $2.5 billion valuation. Prior to that round, Bird raised more than $400 million in funding and reached a valuation of $2 billion last June. Lime also raised more money last year with a $310 million round in February led by Bain Capital. That round valued Lime at $2.4 billion.

Despite Bird’s treasure chest, it laid off up to 5% of its workforce in March, followed by cutting up to a dozen Scoot employees in December. Lyft, similarly, also laid off up to 50 people on its bikes and scooters team in March. So it’s no wonder why Spin employees took the steps to form a union; roughly 40 workers in charge of deployment, charging and repairs are now part of Teamsters Local 665.