If we follow the money in the world of venture capital and startups, we can generally glean some excellent clues on what the next big thing may be. A massive hint emerged this week when reports began making the rounds about a company that has become the fastest startup ever to reach a valuation of $1 billion.
Many eyebrows were raised even further when people started digging into the details about the startup’s line of business. The company in question is named Bird, and its business is electric scooter-sharing.
Bird is far from a flash in the pan as far as the venture capital community is concerned. Back in March, the company was able to raise $100 million in series B funding, placing its valuation at a whopping $400 million. While that’s undoubtedly an impressive neighborhood to reside in for a startup, Bird has recently moved on to a whole other level.
Just a few weeks back, Bird was able to raise $150 million in Series C funding. That placed its valuation at $1 billion, and reports indicate that the company is looking for even more cash; if successful, this would double its valuation. In a report from earlier this week, Dan Primack of Axios succinctly summarized the situation at hand for Bird.
“Venture capitalists have never before participated in such a rapid and rocketing price spike,” he wrote.
So what exactly is so special about Bird that investors are seemingly lining up to hand the company cash? Ride-hailing giants such as Uber and Lyft are reportedly intrigued by the scooter-sharing space, and there’s a school of thought that suggests Bird would be an attractive acquisition target as a result. Bird also has global ambitions, with reports indicating an office in China is on the to-do list.
While the valuation levels for the company are undoubtedly impressive, it also makes one wonder if it’s a sign that startup valuation levels are just getting out of hand altogether. We can’t say for certain if we’re in the midst of a bubble or not, but venture capitalists (and investors in general) may want to refresh their memories about the rampant enthusiasm which consumed the markets at the turn of the century.