Bird is relying on independent owner-operators to roll out scooters, according to a report by OneZero. The Bird Platform program started in November 2018 to supplement the company’s growth. The company is increasingly using the program to expand its fleet during the pandemic.
- Through the program, independent owners can purchase and finance scooters from Bird. Bird takes a cut of each rental and requires each owner to maintain their fleet.
- While the independent owners do not have a say over Bird’s marketing strategy, marketing costs are taken out of the owners' revenues.
- Altogether, Bird takes 70% of the money that contractors make every week in equipment payments and fees. Once these so-called "fleet managers" finish paying for the scooters, Bird continues taking a 20% fee.
- OneZero spoke with seven fleet managers and said that most of them are "happy" with the business model.
- A fleet manager in Indianapolis said he makes $5,000 a single week after paying out Bird.