Startup Spotlight: Bird scooters diversifying into payments
Customers can access Bird’s two models of scooter and a...
Micromobility tech unicorn Bird provides its electric scooters in over 100 cities worldwide.
Customers can access Bird’s two models of scooter and a bike using its app, which is the key to the entire process, from finding a ride, to unlocking the vehicle and paying for the journey.
It’s a business model that has proved enormously successful. At the time of its ascension to unicorn status in 2018, Bird was acclaimed as the fastest startup to ever reach the valuation (having been founded just a year before). As of October 2019, the company was valued at $2.5bn, having to date raised $623mn.
Now, the company has announced a new feature allowing customers to use the Bird app to pay in select local businesses in the Los Angeles and Santa Monica area, where the company is based. Bird highlighted the synergy such a feature offered, with 58% of rides involving “heading to or ending at” a local business.
In a press release, CEO Travis VanderZanden said: “An early insight that emerged shortly after introducing Bird in Santa Monica was that it had the potential to not only allow people to avoid the chore of circling a block to find parking resulting in congestion and frustration, but it could also foster a more direct connection between people and local businesses.”
The move can be viewed through the lens of the ‘super app’ approach so-favoured by other mobility providers like Uber, Lyft or Gojek, whom we profiled in the latest edition of the magazine. There, Gojek’s CISO George Do gave us a useful definition of the term, saying: “As a super app, we provide or offer a variety of services to our consumers, partners and merchants.”
While the deployment of Bird Pay is a pilot confined to Los Angeles, the move nevertheless represents a diversification, potentially with the aim of combatting persistent fears about electric scooters being a bubble that will eventually burst.
Amazon and TotalEnergies partner for greener solutions
TotalEnergies today announced a strategic collaboration with Amazon. Through this new collaboration, TotalEnergies will contribute to Amazon’s commitment to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, while Amazon will help TotalEnergies accelerate its digital transformation.
With Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a key cloud provider, TotalEnergies will accelerate its move to the cloud, boosting its IT transformation, the digitisation of its operations, and its digital innovation. In particular, TotalEnergies’ Digital Factory will benefit from the breadth and depth of AWS services including infrastructure, speed, reliability and innovative services.
“Working with TotalEnergies on innovative cloud technologies to drive reductions in carbon emissions and present new renewable energy sources is a tremendous opportunity. This collaboration will not only accelerate TotalEnergies’ migration to the cloud but also contribute toward Amazon’s commitment to power our operations with 100% renewable energy,” said Kathrin Buvac, Vice President, AWS Strategic Industries.
Moving towards a greener future
TotalEnergies and Amazon have signed power purchase agreements (“PPAs”) for a commitment of 474 MW of renewable capacity in the US and Europe, and expect to expand their cooperation in the Middle East and Asia Pacific. By supplying renewable energy and potential battery energy solutions, TotalEnergies will contribute to Amazon’s commitment to power operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030 and reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
“TotalEnergies is deeply committed to reducing the carbon emissions of its operations and supporting its customers to do the same around the world. By signing this agreement, we are proud to enter into this key collaboration with Amazon and to accompany them on their journey to carbon neutrality.” said Stéphane Michel, President Gas, Renewables & Power at TotalEnergies. “We are also counting on Amazon and AWS to help us advance our exponential shift in the speed, scale and advancement of digitalisation.”
As part of its ambition to get to net-zero by 2050, TotalEnergies is building a portfolio of activities in renewables and electricity that should account for up to 40% of its sales by 2050. At the end of 2020, TotalEnergies’ gross power generation capacity worldwide was around 12 GW, including 7 GW of renewable energy. TotalEnergies will continue to expand this business to reach 35 GW of gross production capacity from renewable sources by 2025, and then 100 GW by 2030 with the objective of being among the world's top 5 in renewable energies.