Scooter startup Bird announced its deal to buy Scoot Networks, a San Francisco-based firm with a license to operate scooter rentals in San Francisco. The acquisition gets Bird a foothold in San Francisco, where it was previously shut out. The deal was small—in the low-to-mid tens of millions of dollars, and mostly in equity, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The deal has some larger ramifications for the scooter sector, which faces a crucial summer when ridership is expected to grow but companies have to prove their financial sustainability to raise more funds. Bet on more consolidation. If small firms continue to win licenses to operate in key cities, they face a decent shot of being scooped up by larger U.S. firms like Bird, Lime, Lyft and Uber. San Francisco officials gave a green light to the deal, allowing Scoot to keep its permit as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bird, the person said.