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

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 31,467,508 — Total deaths: 967,881— Total recoveries: 21,583,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 6,890,662 — Total deaths: 200,710 — Total recoveries: 2,646,959 — Total tests: 96,612,436Map.
  3. Health: The U.S. reaches 200,000 coronavirus deaths — The CDC's crumbling reputation — America turns against coronavirus vaccine.
  4. Politics: Elected officials are failing us on much-needed stimulus.
  5. Business: Two-thirds of business leaders think pandemic will lead to permanent changes — Fed chair warns economy will feel the weight of expired stimulus.
  6. Sports: NFL fines maskless coaches.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

GoodRx prices IPO at $33 per share, valued at $12.7 billion

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

GoodRx, a price comparison app for prescription drugs at local pharmacies, on Tuesday night raised $1.14 billion in its IPO, Axios has learned.

By the numbers: GoodRx priced its shares at $33 a piece, above its $24-$28 per share offering range, which will give it an initial market cap of around $12.7 billion.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

House Democrats and Trump admin strike deal to avert government shutdown

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call via Getty Images

The House on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 359-57.

Why it matters: The bill will avert a government shutdown when funding expires in eight days. Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said earlier that they hoped to hold a vote on the legislation on Tuesday evening.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!