Scooter company Bird has acquired smaller scooter and electric moped company Scoot. The two companies said Wednesday that together they'll be able to grow more quickly worldwide and be able to offer more types of electric-assisted vehicles for rent, including scooters, mopeds and bikes.
Bird CEO and founder Travis VanderZanden said in a statement on Wednesday that his company plans to work with Scoot to "further scale our complementary missions -- to replace car trips with micro-mobility options for all."
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While the union between Bird and Scoot appears to make sense, the two companies are very different.
In response to the complaints, Bird has appeared to duck responsibility. VanderZanden told CNET in an interview last April that, "it's ultimately up to the riders to follow the rules."
Scoot, on the other hand, has always worked with regulators to get permits beforehand and create programs that take into account safety and parking. Its approach has been to roll out slowly, rather than overwhelming streets with vehicles.
"You've got to figure out how to mash up your techie startup organization with the city... Otherwise you're going to make a big mess," Michael Keating, Scoot's founder and president, told CNET in an interview last May. "We want to be around in 10 or 20 or 100 years... We're not trying to grow as big as we can and flame out."
Even though Scoot is now owned by Bird, it's still able to operate in the city, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.
The regulator told CNET it approved the transfer of ownership based on Scoot's assurances that it will still meet the goals of San Francisco's permit program. Those efforts include a focus on safety and making sure underrepresented communities have access to scooters.
Under the terms of Bird's acquisition, Scoot will continue to operate as Scoot but as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird.
"With Bird, our mission remains the same," Keating said in a statement Wednesday. "But the scale at which we will pursue it, and the vehicles we will offer will be so much better for our riders and the cities we serve."
Originally published June 12, 10:31 a.m. PT. Updates, 12:56 p.m.: Includes additional background information; 5:19 p.m.: Adds information from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency.