The company announced Tuesday that it's inviting small-business owners and individuals to own and operate fleets of e-scooters through a program called Bird Platform. You can buy the scooters from Bird "at cost," rebrand them, and rent them out. In exchange, Bird will get a 20 percent cut of every ride. The California-based startup will also provide you with "everything you need to manage your fleet of e-scooters," including a network of chargers and mechanics and a customized website. You will need to cover the cost of city permits, however. 

"The e-scooter movement has never been just about one company, one city, or one way of providing a service," Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a statement. "With Bird Platform, we encourage new entrepreneurs and existing local businesses in all cities to join the effort to get cars off the road. We look forward to this next chapter of shared e-scooters." More than 300 individuals have already expressed an interest in the program, according to the company. Bird did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The platform is slated to roll out in December, in cities where scooters are already used, and regulations are lax, according to TechCrunch. Users will be able to see and reserve the scooters on a map in Bird's app. Since launching in September 2017, Bird has raised about $415 million in venture capital and is currently valued at $2 billion. 

Published on: Nov 28, 2018