The next Uber? Scooter startups flood U.S. cities as funding pours in

The next Uber? Scooter startups flood U.S. cities as funding pours in

- in Business
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They appeared seemingly overnight: hundreds of two-wheeled electric scooters all over the city of Santa Monica, California.

The company behind the scooters, Bird, launched in the affluent beachside city last September with little advance notice, but its product was suddenly everywhere, littering sidewalks and clogging bike paths.

Public officials were flummoxed that a company could do such a thing.

“We were not expecting this company to launch in the way they did and appear on our streets and sidewalks,” said Anuj Gupta, deputy city manager of Santa Monica, who called Bird’s outreach “halfhearted” and “underwhelming.”

But Bird did, and in the process has become one of the most out-of-nowhere success stories in startup history. Founded in 2017, the company has already raised more than $400 million, according to the startup database Crunchbase. It has reportedly sought valuations approaching $2 billion in its most recent talks.

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