High Gas Prices Could Boost E-Scooter and E-Bike Ridership, Bird CEO Says

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

Bird scooters
Courtesy of Bird

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Electric scooter startup Bird more than doubled its revenues in 2021 as pandemic restrictions eased and riders returned to its shared micromobility network, while CEO Travis VanderZanden talked up the possibility of high gas prices forcing drivers to consider its electric vehicles instead.


On Tuesday, the Santa Monica-based company reported fourth-quarter revenues of $54 million that were up 126% from the same period in 2020. Likewise, Bird's full-year 2021 revenues of $205 million more than doubled the nearly $95 million that it generated in 2020. The startup continued to bleed money, however, with a net loss of nearly $40 million in the fourth quarter contributing to total losses exceeding $208 million last year.

Bird’s surging revenues were driven by rebounding ridership, with its total number of rides increasing more than 100% year-on-year in the fourth quarter “despite macro-related headwinds including the surge in Omicron cases late in the period,” VanderZanden said in the company’s earnings release.

With gas prices escalating thanks to inflation and geopolitical factors like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, VanderZanden noted on an earnings call Tuesday that those conditions could benefit Bird by spurring more drivers to eschew their gas-powered cars in favor of electric bikes and scooters.

“While nobody likes high gas prices, and we obviously don’t like how we got here, we do think elevated gas prices will likely accelerate transition to affordable microelectric vehicles such as Bird,” he said.

The company provided a 2022 revenue guidance of between $34 million to $36 million for its ongoing first quarter and at least $350 million for the full year, with both figures falling short of analyst expectations. Bird became a publicly traded company in November after merging with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) and now trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker BRDS.

Investors appeared to be underwhelmed by the company’s revenue guidance: Bird shares were down more than 6% in after-hours trading Tuesday after closing at $3.50.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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EV Startup INDIEV Links With Foxconn To Produce SUVs

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

EV Startup INDIEV Links With Foxconn To Produce SUVs
Photo Courtesy of IndiEV

INDIEV, a startup based in Vernon, announced this week it will partner with Taiwanese tech conglomerate Foxconn to build its first prototypes of its upcoming electric SUV, nicknamed the INDI One.

The debut makes it the seventh consumer electric vehicle company to enter Los Angeles’s crowded cohort of green carmakers.

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