In the Great Scooter War of 2018-19, a new volley has come over the horizon: Scooter-rental company Bird, which along with competitor Lime got booted out of the game in San Francisco last year because they were playing too aggressively, is officially back in the game with the acquisition of another competitor Scoot.
Scoot, as you may recall, was granted a permit to operate in SF along with Skip, and those two companies remain the only players in the local market — though Bird has been doing monthly rentals, which they're still allowed to do.
As Business Insider reports, the acquisition both gets Bird back in business with hourly rentable kick-scooters, it also gets them into the moped-renting business, as Scoot has its popular red mopeds parked all over town. The merger also gives Scoot a bigger playing field, as Bird already has permits in dozens of North American and European cities.
The details of the deal were not disclosed, but Scoot was previously valued at $71.5 million as of October 2017.
And while the city could reserve the right to review Scoot's permit now that it's been acquired, the Examiner reports that Bird has already been given the go-ahead to continue operating Scoot under the existing permit.
It's been just over a year since Bird, Lime, and Spin were forced to go on "hiatus" by the city, after several months in which they had tried to "disrupt" mobility by littering their scooters on sidewalks all over town. And while the e-scooter fad shows no signs of disappearing, more stories about how many people are injuring themselves on these things might be in order.
Also: Watch out for pogo sticks!