Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

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

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

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Caresse Haaser / Axios

San Francisco officials on Thursday granted permits to only two companies, Scoot and Skip, for a one-year electric scooter pilot program.

Why it matters: This is a major upset, in that the city didn't pick bigger names like Bird, Lime, Lyft or Uber.

The big lesson: Don't flout regulations. While it worked for ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft a few years ago, city officials are no longer shy about punishing companies that don't play by the rules.

  • Bird, Lime, and Spin rolled out their scooters in San Francisco this spring before the city had finished formulating its pilot program. It wouldn't be surprising if local officials are holding that against them.
  • As for Uber and Lyft, the two companies may still be dealing with their old sins—although Uber's Jump division has the only bike-share permit in San Francisco, raising questions about why that relationship wasn't rewarded.
  • Scoot has been operating full-sized scooters in San Francisco for years and has already forged a positive relationship with city officials. Skip, also based in San Francisco, has only deployed its scooters in a few cities where it has obtained the city's permission.
  • Because scooter deployment is so tightly regulated, including caps on the number of vehicles, having deep pockets to quickly grab market share won't work in this market as it did with ride-hailing.

Big vs. small: San Francisco's two picks are not among the companies that have raised the most venture capital.

  • Uber and Lyft have raised billions of dollars, while Bird and Lime have raised $415 million and $467 million respectively. Meanwhile, Skip has only raised $26 million and Scoot reportedly recently raised $30 million (the company has never commented on its total funding).
  • Because scooter deployment is so tightly regulated, including caps on the number of vehicles, having deep pockets to quickly grab market share won't work in this market as it did with ride-hailing.

Lyft statement:

Lyft put forward a compelling application that stood out in it's approach to equity to best serve San Francisco residents. We remain hopeful that we will have the chance to offer scooters in San Francisco in the future.

Uber statement:

We are disappointed with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) decision not to grant us a scooter permit. Jump both submitted a strong application and has a track record of successfully working with the city on our bike pilot. Granting only two scooter permits unnecessarily limits mobility options in San Francisco, and we plan to follow up with the SFMTA to share our concerns.

Bird statement:

As Bird nears its goal of providing transportation to riders in 50 cities globally before the end of 2018, we will continue to work with San Francisco officials, partners, community organizations, and advocates in hopes of bringing Bird back to the City by the Bay. Over the past several weeks, SF residents have sent nearly 30,000 emails to city officials expressing their desire to have access to Bird. While we are disappointed with today’s decision, we hope to have the opportunity to meet the needs of SF residents and to help the city achieve it’s transportation goals following this initial test period.

Spin statement:

We are disappointed by SFMTA’s decision. Spin proceeded with our small-scale pilot after vetting our plans with SFMTA staff in February and after SFMTA staff informed us repeatedly that they had no objections or concerns. We regret that SFMTA chose not to distinguish between companies that have always worked in good faith with the City and those that did not. We hope SFMTA will consider allowing additional operators to participate in the pilot program. Meanwhile, Spin will continue to stay focused on rolling out and operating scooters in our other markets by working with communities in accordance with our Partnership Promise.

Lime statement:

Today’s decision is disappointing. San Franciscans deserve an equitable and transparent process when it comes to transportation and mobility. Instead, the SFMTA has selected inexperienced scooter operators that plan to learn on the job, at the expense of the public good.

Go deeper: How Skip wants to win the scooter wars by following the rules; Bird is building the Uber of scooters

The story has been updated with additional statements.

Go deeper

Axios Visuals Deep Dive: Pandemic eating

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A food revolution began pre-pandemic and COVID has only accelerated that. See how America's food industry is transforming, from farm to your table.

Abrams’ campaign manager rules out 2024 run if she wins governor's race

Photo: Jessica McGowan/Getty Images

In her first major interview since the official announcement, Stacey Abrams' campaign manager Lauren Groh-Wargo quashed speculation that the Georgia Democrat would interrupt a theoretical gubernatorial term to run for president in 2024.

Why it matters: Abrams' name has come up repeatedly as a top 2024 Democratic contender given President Joe Biden's age and Vice President Kamala Harris's low favorability rating.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Trump social media group raises $1 billion from undisclosed investors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Donald Trump's social media startup on Saturday announced that it secured $1 billion in new investment as part of its ongoing efforts to become publicly traded via a blank check company.

Between the lines: None of the investors were identified, which is highly unusual for this sort of transaction.