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Bird launches platform to let entrepreneurs manage their own fleet of scooters

Bird is launching its new program, Bird Platform, in New Zealand, Canada and Latin America in the coming weeks. First up is New Zealand, where Bird has partnered with a local entrepreneur to manage a fleet of Bird electric scooters. Residents of New Zealand will start to see Bird scooters on the streets next week.
The platform is part of Birds mission to bring its scooters across the world and empower local entrepreneurs in regions where we werent planning to launch to run their own electric-scooter sharing program with Birds tech and vehicles, Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden told TechCrunch.
Bird Platform works by selling the vehicles to these entrepreneurs at cost and then taking a 20 percent cut from the ride revenue.
That way our interests are super aligned, VanderZanden said.
As the manager of their own fleets, Platform entrepreneurs will be responsible for recharging the scooters, maintenance, and working with cities to obtain permits. Bird first announced Platform in November and intended to roll it out in December. But it took a bit longer than expected to work out the kinks, VanderZanden said. In New Zealand, there is just one entrepreneur on board, but thats by design.
Were trying to keep it one per region so there are not any conflicts, VanderZanden said.
Bird expects each region to initially operate hundreds and ultimately thousands of scooters. So far, Bird has signed deals with over five entrepreneurs to operate Bird Platform.
As noted earlier, Bird is only bringing Platform to places where the company wasnt planning on launching either at all, or anytime soon.
Bird Platform is complementary, VanderZanden said. We think theyll be happy staying on Bird Platform. We want to provide the best vehicles and best technology as long as they continue to invest and scale in the region.
Bird has raised more than $400 million in funding to date and is reportedly in the midst of raising an additional $300 million.

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