Scooter rental startup Lime, one of the hottest startups in tech two years ago, is trying to raise emergency funds at a valuation slashed by 80% from last year, two people familiar with the matter said. The company is seeking funds from new investors at a valuation of just $400 million, compared with the $2.4 billion level at which it last raised money, the people said.
The discussions, which one person said are in the early stages, foreshadow the pain to come for startups looking to raise cash as the financial markets and the economy are reeling from the impact of the coronavirus. Lime, which has shut down its scooter-rental operations in all but one market, has between $50 million and $70 million of cash left, The Information reported Saturday. At the startup’s current rate of spending, that cash will only last a few months, said one of the people. Lime is expected to lay off staff, however.