Over the past several months, two of the only publicly traded micromobility companies, Bird Global and Helbiz, have both hit financial potholes. A new round of permit renewals signals that cities are still demanding micromobility services, but Bird’s and Helbiz’s trajectories are otherwise quite different, as Bird’s valuation has increased and Helbiz’s continues to fall.
A Bird spokesperson highlighted in an email its permit renewals in more than two dozen cities across the U.S., including Los Angeles and New York, calling the renewals “a strong indication of the continued growth and relevance of the micromobility market.”
“Our permit renewals affirm the trust and confidence placed in us by municipalities, acknowledging the positive outcomes we have delivered,” the Bird spokesperson said. “Looking ahead,” he said, “Bird's future in the micromobility market is undeniably promising.”
Bird went public in November 2021 through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. Over the past year and a half, the company’s financial performance has been shaky, accompanied by staff layoffs and departures from several cities. The New York Stock Exchange threatened in June 2022 to delist the company if Bird’s stock price did not rise above $1 per share. A week after the July announcement of city permit renewals, Bird’s stock had increased 29% compared with its price pre-announcement. Earlier this month, the company reported that it received a notice of compliance from NYSE in regard to its stock price.
“Bird's recent permit renewals underline the market's recognition of the positive impact our services have on urban mobility,” the Bird spokesperson said.
In June, Helbiz announced the extension of its permit to operate seated scooters in Austin, Texas. But a few days later, it revealed that it was exiting “unprofitable cities in the United States” to “refocus on financial self-sustainability.” After that announcement, the company’s stock price fell 22%. The company had already announced its planned exit from “non-profitable markets” in January.
Also in June, Helbiz indicated that it was forgoing its media streaming venture to focus on micromobility. “We firmly believe that sharpening our focus on the mobility vertical is crucial to ensuring the company’s long-term profitability and success,” CEO Salvatore Palella said in a statement. The company also dabbles in ghost kitchens and retail.
Helbiz had received a Nasdaq delisting notice last July; in March it announced a reverse stock split so that it could become compliant with rules to remain listed on the Nasdaq. It also officially changed its name to micromobility.com.
In May, the company said it became compliant with Nasdaq price requirements. In June, Micromobility.com announced its intention to merge a newly formed subsidiary with EVmo, a fleet management and vehicle rental company for delivery drivers. Micromobility.com said the merger is intended to “strengthen each company’s market position and accelerate growth.” Recently, Micromobility.com’s stock has fallen to its lowest price in a year — 8 cents as of July 26.
Micromobility.com did not return a request for comment.