Bird Scoots Past Major Hurdle Towards Its Public Market Debut

Harri Weber

Harri is dot.LA's senior finance reporter. She previously worked for Gizmodo, Fast Company, VentureBeat and Flipboard. Find her on Twitter and send tips on L.A. startups and venture capital to harrison@dot.la.

Bird scooters

Micromobility company Bird's closely-watched public market debut crossed its last major hurdle on Tuesday.


The Santa Monica-based firm, which plops rentable scooters on sidewalks across hundreds of cities in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East, struck a deal earlier this year to go public by merging with Switchback II, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Shareholders of the Dallas-based SPAC, which was created expressly to bring a firm public through a reverse merger, overwhelmingly voted to approve the combination, according to preliminary poll results released by the firms.

Switchback II said in a statement that it anticipates the deal will close on Thursday, the same day it expects Bird to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BRDS. Of the shareholders who voted, 98% did so in support of the merger, according to the statement.

The transaction originally valued Bird at around $2.3 billion — about $550 million short of the scooter company's pre-pandemic valuation, according to a pitch deck reviewed by dot.LA.

But since its pandemic lows, Bird's revenue has rebounded. The company is still losing money, however its losses fell during its second fiscal quarter of 2021, compared to the same time last year.

While the SPAC trend has cooled off, plenty of noteworthy companies have opened up their shares to public investors via blank-check firms, enabling startups to bypass the traditional IPO process. Along with Bird, other high-profile Southern California companies to strike deals with SPACs include renewable energy storage company Energy Vault, electric vehicle maker Xos and Aspiration, a fintech that bills itself as a sustainable banking company.

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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.

March Capital Raises $650 Million Fund to Invest in AI Startups
March Capital founder Jamie Montgomery. Illustration by Dilara Mundy.

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Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Saviynt Lands $205M, Pagos Secures $34M
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