Coronavirus effect: e-scooter startup Bird lays-off 30% workforce
As the world prepares for yet another economic recession in the wake of coronavirus outbreak, various industries across the globe have already started laying-off workforce as a part of the cost cutting measures.
Latest to join the list is the Santa Monica, California based electric scooter start-up, Bird (founded in 2017). The company on Friday announced that it has laid-off about one-third of its workforce due to the damage done to its services by the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has already halted shared scooter operations in a number of international markets and has drastically brought down the expenditure.
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Travis VanderZanden, founder and chief executive, Bird, bid 'goodbye' to the company employees in a memo, saying "We've watched the COVID-19 pandemic radically and quickly transform our lives, the world, and our business in less than a month."
"Given the unknown timeline and current economic situation, we were forced to cut back in this way to elongate the trajectory of Bird and our mission," VanderZanden quoted.
The company recently raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors but is forced to cut jobs in order to ensure that there are enough funds for it to remain operational through next year, according to VanderZanden.
"History suggests that people will demand a large scale mobility option that still allows for personal distancing," VanderZanden said. "And Bird will be there."
Employees who've lost jobs during due to the pandemic were assured severance pay and extended health plan coverage, as per the company.
In other developments, the transport company Lime last week announced that it has withdrawn its electric scooters from as many as dozen countries, including the U.S., due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Like you, we are worried about the cities we love and call home, the people we serve, and our colleagues on the ground," said Brad Bao, the chief executive and founder of Lime.