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Bird electric scooter in Germany. Photo: Nicolas Armer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Scooter company Bird is finally rolling out its franchise program, first announced last fall, through which it will provide select entrepreneurs with scooters and software for them to operate local scooter rental services.

The big picture: This could be a clever way for the company to outsource some of its growth into new markets. But it will also be interesting to see whether it'll be a healthy business.

  • Although Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden tells Axios that the franchise model will be "economically good," the company and rival Lime have reportedly been burning a lot of cash and are raising more.

How it works: Entrepreneurs will purchase scooters through Bird at cost (meaning they’ll pay whatever Bird pays to its manufacturers, roughly $500 a piece), and will have free access to it software technologies, including its mobile apps, and management software on the back end for free.

  • In some cases, these local fleets will sport Bird’s brand. In others, they'll have custom brands that will be marked as "powered by Bird."
  • The only fee they'll pay Bird is a 20% revenue cut from rides, and they will be responsible for other expenses like charging and repairing the scooters.
  • Bird will work with only one fleet operator per city, though it won't require them to sign exclusivity deals. Ideally, Bird hopes it will provide such a great product and service that such entrepreneurs will be happy and won’t want to work with competitors should that become an option.

The first such fleet will debut in Auckland, New Zealand, and more will roll out there, as well as in Canada and Latin America.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

Cedric Richmond: We won't wait on GOP for "insufficient" stimulus

Top Biden adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" the White House believes it has bipartisan support for a stimulus bill outside the Beltway.

  • "If our choice is to wait and go bipartisan with an insufficient package, we are not going to do that."

The big picture: The bill will likely undergo an overhaul in the Senate after House Democrats narrowly passed a stimulus bill this weekend, reports Axios' Kadia Goba.