Bird expands its scooters in Europe and Middle East with Circ acquisition

In the competitive world of electric scooters, Bird aims to get an edge with a new acquisition and $75 million funding round.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

Bird acquires European scooter company Circ.


Bird's stronghold has been the US, but the scooter company appears to be branching out further into the international market. On Monday, it announced that it acquired the European scooter company Circ, along with getting a new investment of $75 million. That means Bird's scooters will now be available in more than a dozen countries.

In 2018, Bird was the first company to scatter its scooters across city streets in the US. Since then, the electric scooter market has exploded, with more than a dozen companies operating around the world. Bird has raised $350 million in investor funding and its biggest competitor, Lime, has raised $765 million and has scooters in roughly 30 countries. 

Still, the scooter business has yet to see a profit as the companies deal with the high costs of operating scooters and surviving regulatory battles. Bird, Circ and Lime have all laid off staff over the last year.

"Investors today are looking for financially disciplined companies with a clear path to profitability," Bird CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden said in a statement. Regarding Circ, he said he likes "their laser focus on treating cities as their number 1 customer and their mindset of prioritizing profitability over growth." 

Circ has operations in 12 countries, including Germany, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. With the acquisition of Circ, Bird will add more than 300 employees to its European operations. Bird declined to disclose how much it paid for the company.

In June, Bird acquired the San Francisco-based electric scooter and moped company Scoot for $25 million. Through that deal, Bird was able to nab one of only three permits to operate in San Francisco. Under the terms of the acquisition, Scoot continues to operate as Scoot but it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird.