Lyft laid off about 50 employees who worked in its bikes and scooters division this week, people familiar with the matter said. Many of the people let go came over to Lyft from Motivate, the nearly 300-person bike-sharing company the ride-hailing firm bought in December, and helped lead key markets like San Francisco and Boston. Lyft spokeswoman Julie Wood characterized the layoffs as part of the company’s “performance management process,” adding that Lyft was still “actively hiring for this part of the business with hundreds of hires planned this year.“
Indeed, the company’s bikes and scooters business is a significant piece of its pitch to public investors. But the layoffs illustrate some of the difficulties associated with Lyft’s purchase of the U.S. bike-share leader, which was backed more by private equity investors than venture capitalists. That has meant integrating some legacy technology and a workforce that apparently needed trimming. In other ways, that structure paid dividends: Motivate delivered Lyft multi-year contracts to run bike-share services in valuable markets like New York and Chicago.