Bird is Set to Go Public With Dallas SPAC Merger

The business combination is expected to close on Nov. 4 following a final vote. When that happens, Bird has prepared a planned board of directors—featuring a big-name group of industry leaders—to support its next chapter as a public company.

After announcing in May that it planned to go public via a merger with Switchback II Corporation, Bird Rides announced today that the transaction is expected to close on Nov. 4.

Bird, a leader in the electric scooter-sharing market, expects all conditions to be met for its business combination with the Dallas-headquartered special purpose acquisition company.

Upon the closing of the deal, which is subject to a final vote, the common stock and warrants of the new company will start trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbols “BRDS” and “BRDS WS,” respectively.

The shareholder vote at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Switchback II is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET on Nov. 2 in Dallas. It will be broadcast virtually live here.

We previously reported that the combined company will be named Bird Global, Inc. and has an implied valuation of $2.3 billion. Bird raised $160 million in private investment in public equity by institutional investor Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC and others. That was supported by an additional $40 million in asset financing provided by Apollo Investment Corp. and MidCap Financial Trust.

Last month, Apollo Investment Corporation and MidCap Financial Trust upsized its existing  $40 million vehicle financing credit facility to $150 million, subject to the closing of the merger with Switchback II Corporation.

Bird also previously raised $208 million as part of an April 2021 Senior Preferred Convertible equity offering led by Bracket Capital, Sequoia Capital, and Valor Equity Partners.

Founded in 2017, Los Angeles-based Bird is today known as an electric vehicle transportation company that brings environmentally friendly solutions to more than 350 cities across the world. The shared electric micromobility company closely partners with the cities in which it operates to offer an affordable transportation option for the people who live and work there.

It was one of the first to develop the shared electric scooter model in a market that has grown to be around $800 billion.

Switchback II Corporation was formed with a strategic focus on the energy transition sector or sustainability arena. It targets industries that need innovative solutions to “decarbonize in order to meet critical emission reduction objectives.”

Bird plans a board of directors

In preparation for its potential next chapter as a public company, Bird announced last month that it was planning to compose a board of directors following the deal’s completion.

The board features a number of big names from across the public and private sectors, including in technology, transportation, and energy.

Bob Komin—the former CFO of Sunrun who led the residential solar, battery storage, and energy services provider through its IPO—will become audit committee chairman.

The additional members are:

• Travis VanderZanden, founder and CEO of Bird;
• Roelof F. Botha, partner at Sequoia Capital and board member of 23andMe, MongoDB, Square, and Unity Technologies, among others;
• Daniel Friedland, co-founder and managing director of Goldcrest Capital;
• Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch;
• Jim Mutrie, co-CEO and director of Switchback II Corporation;
• Racquel Russell, VP of Partner Success at Zillow and former deputy assistant to President Obama; and
• David Sacks, co-founder and general partner at Craft Ventures, founder and former CEO of Yammer, and former COO and founding member of Paypal.

“As we approach our next chapter as a public company, I’m very proud of the board we have assembled,” VanderZanden said in a statement. “Each member brings extensive experience and leadership in their respective fields, and I’m privileged to work alongside them as we continue on our mission to bring environmentally-friendly transportation to everyone.”

Bird unveils new products and partnerships

Since announcing its plans in May to go public, Bird has made some moves to stay on the forefront of the micromobility sector.

In May, Bird released Bird Three, the third generation of its flagship product, which the company called the “world’s most eco-conscious electric scooter specifically designed for shared use.”

In June, it added shared e-bikes to its fleet, launching the Bird Bike and accompanying Smart Bikeshare platform in select cities that don’t have an existing bike or scooter-sharing network.

In August, Bird integrated with Google Maps to provide easier access to its e-scooters and e-bikes. Users with Bird scooters or e-bikes in their city are now able to see the availability and location status of shared electric vehicles nearby.

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