Bird, the US-based micro mobility company, is investing $150 million (£107.8m) to help fuel its expansion plans to 50 cities across Europe.
As part of the move, Renaud Fages has been appointed as head of global operations to help cement Bird’s position in Europe.
Bird said it will double its footprint in the region over the spring and summer and will start increasing its fleet size in locations it already operates in.
Bird said it doesn’t share actual scooter numbers, saying “it fluctuates depending on rider demand”.
Brendan O’Driscoll has also been recruited as head of product, growth and data and will oversee Bird’s global product strategy and implementation.
Fages said: “Over the last 12 months we have seen city leaders and citizens rethinking how short trips in cities are taken.
“Many cities have created hundreds of miles of bike lanes, and we have seen millions of people embrace new forms of transport, like our micro EVs.
“The investment in the region will help us bring mobility to all – from small towns to large cities – and help them become less reliant on cars and more liveable for everyone.”
Europe is big for Bird
Bird appointed Charlotte Bailey to lead its operations in the UK in November last year.
She told Zag at the time her ambition was “to have Bird scooters in every town and city across the UK”.
Bird’s biggest European market is currently Germany, but it has UK trials running in Redditch and Canterbury, as well as service operations in Portugal, Spain France, Austria, Norway, Sweden, Italy and Belgium.
As part of its investment for European markets, Bird is introducing new Ride Pass products including daily and monthly unlimited ride passes, as well as monthly and three-monthly unlimited unlock passes.
Bird’s own data shows that since the pandemic, European riders account for nearly 50% of Bird rides globally and individual rides on the continent are more than 30% longer in duration than pre-Covid.
O’Driscoll said: “Increasing e-scooter access and encouraging routine micromobility use are absolutely critical during the spring months as more cities slowly lift pandemic restrictions and businesses begin to reopen.
“By simplifying our Global Ride Pass features, adding new pricing plans based on rider needs and making it available in dozens of additional cities, we’re able to extend the reach and long-term benefits of micromobility to millions of additional people around the world.”