Corporate scooter gangs unite! Bird has a new “trickle down entrepreneurship” business model.
Bird announced yesterday it will sell its electric scooters to entrepreneurs and small business owners, who can then rent them out as part of a new service called Bird Platform — AKA, franchising with a fresh coat of branding.
Bird’s nest is for anyone (who will pay them)
According to TechCrunch, the company will provide the independent operators with scooters, who are given free rein to brand however they want, as well as access to the company’s marketplace of chargers and mechanics. And hey, all Bird will take is 20% of the cost of each ride.
And supposedly, it’s catching on. According to Bird’s CEO Travis VanderZanden, 300 parties are already waiting to get started.
In July, Amazon announced a similar program for delivery trucks, Project Armada, that, like Bird, allows entrepreneurs to operate their own fleet.
And thus begins the new wave of franchising
Only this time, entrepreneurs aren’t flipping burgers — and it makes total sense for companies looking to expand their reach swiftly at a fairly low cost.
Amazon, for instance, hopes to make the program contribute 20% of its total deliveries by Project Armada’s 2nd year.
With this model, a company can keep its respective market close and its potential enemies closer before they go off on their own and become a competitor (or have to shell out a billion dollars to acquire them).