May 12, 2021 - Economy

E-scooter company Bird will go public via SPAC

llustration:Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Electric scooter company Bird on Wednesday agreed to go public via a SPAC, at an implied value of around $2.3 billion.

Between the lines: This is a lower valuation than what Bird got in the private markets before the pandemic, but could help set it up to benefit from a rider rebound as cities reopen.

Details: Bird is being acquired by Switchback II, a SPAC that was originally formed to buy an energy company.

  • The deal includes a $160 million "PIPE" investment led by existing Bird investor Fidelity, plus a $40 million asset financing facility from Apollo Investment Corp. and MidCap Financial Trust.
  • Bird had raised nearly $1 billion in private funding, including a previously-undisclosed $208 million infusion last month from Bracket Capital, Sequoia Capital and Valor Equity Partners.

The big picture: SPACs are back, after a brief time-out as the SEC required sponsors to sort out certain accounting issues. In addition to Bird, there have been large deals this week for such companies as Ginkgo Bioworks and Wynn Resorts.

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