Oct 3, 2019

E-scooter company Bird raises $275 million

llustration:Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Electric scooter rental company Bird today announced $275 million in Series D funding at what we hear was a $2.5 billion pre-money valuation. CDPQ and Sequoia Capital co-led the round.

The bottom line: E-scooter companies are simultaneously working to curb losses, curry favor with city regulators, and convince investors they're the next great transportation revolution.

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Next up: Self-driving scooters

Illustration: Caresse Haaser/Axios

San Francisco startup Tortoise is working on (eventually) applying self-driving tech developed for autos to scooters and bikes. The goal: eliminate the need for human labor that rental companies now use to ferry vehicles around, redistributing them across a city or getting them charged.

The big picture: With "micromobility" potentially emerging as the next big wave of transportation, companies are looking to make scooters and other small vehicles as efficient and convenient as possible. Cutting labor costs and making sure vehicles are always nearby when a customer needs one is Tortoise's pitch.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

Report: SoftBank to take control of WeWork

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Japanese investment firm SoftBank is set to take control of WeWork in a deal that slashes the co-working company's valuation from $48 billion to around $8 billion, according to CNBC. WeWork is declining comment, and there is subsequent reporting that the company is still deciding between SoftBank's offer and a debt package led by J.P. Morgan.

Why it matters: SoftBank helped break WeWork. Now it may own it.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019

Zoox raises $200 million to build self-driving car

Zoox vehicle in San Francisco. Photo by Andreas Hoenig/dpa via Getty Images.

Self-driving startup Zoox has raised $200 million in new convertible note funding, which will be folded into a Series C round that's expected to close later this year or at the beginning of 2020.

Why it matters: Zoox is more ambitious than most other autonomous tech startups, seeking to develop the entire car instead of just the software or sensors.

Go deeperArrowOct 21, 2019