Lime, a scooter-sharing company, has decided to exit 12 markets in the United States and overseas. The company is also laying off around 100 or 14 percent of its full-time workers. It has not made any announcement regarding how many part-time workers will be affected by the move. The markets that the e-scooter company is exiting are Atlanta, San Diego, and San Antonio in the US. Lima, Sao Paulo, Bogota, and Rio de Janeiro are some of the overseas cities where the company has decided to stop providing services. Lime CEO Brad Bao said that the company has decided to stop operations in cities where micro-mobility has evolved slowly. The decision comes during the winter months, the time period of the year when ridership of scooters sees a significant dip.
The world’s largest scooter-sharing company is also struggling to turn a profit and facing some regulatory challenges. High fees to operate and bans on night time riding are some of the major roadblocks for the company. “Our goal for 2020 is to achieve financial independence and we are confident that Lime will be able to achieve profitability,” Bao said. He said the majority of over 120 markets have responded well to micro-mobility and are profitable. “Lime would be reintroduced in these cities, which the company is exiting at the moment, at the right time,” he added.
Lime was launched in 2017 as a bike-share company but soon followed the footsteps of the Santa Monica-based startup Bird that pioneered scooter sharing. Scooters soon became popular and Lime raised USD 777 million and was valued at USD 2.4 billion. Lime, along with its competitor Bird, has grown much faster than Lyft and Uber did when they started their services. The reason behind instant popularity was that people started using it for short trips in congested locations. However, they struggled to make a profit as e-scooters have a short lifespan. Also, the earliest scooters available in the industry were not build for the wear and tear. While some companies tried to build more durable scooters, others have developed batteries that can be easily swapped. This reduced the cost of charging scooters. Sidewalk clutter has also impacted the growth ability of the industry with some cities restricting the number of scooters on the street.
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I have completed a Ph.D. in Earth science and working as a professor at different colleges in Cambridge, US for the last 13 years. I also worked as a senior author for different magazines in the UK and contributed on the topic “Physical constitution of the Earth and its atmosphere”. I have won many awards for my writing on Volcanoes and its effects on the atmosphere of the earth. I have also spent more than a decade researching Hydrosphere.