UPDATED 19:52 EDT / JANUARY 09 2020

APPS

Lime lays off 100 staff, exits 12 markets as it seeks profitability

Electric scooter company LimeBike Inc. today said it’s laying off about 14% of its workforce and ceasing operations in 12 markets as the company attempts to become profitable for the first time.

The venture capital-backed startup, once reported to be an acquisition target of Uber Technologies Inc., will lay off approximately 100 employees, although Lime did not specify where the job losses would take place. The true number of people losing their jobs may be larger because in addition to cutting full-time employees, temporary employees as well as “Juices,” people who charge scooters for Lime will also be losing their jobs in the markets Lime is exiting.

The markets Lime is pulling out of are Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego and San Antonio in the U.S.; Linz, Austria, in Europe; and Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in South America.

“While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micromobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micromobility has evolved more slowly,” Lime said in a statement.

Lime further explained the cuts as part of it’s long-term goal to “play an instrumental role in reimagining and changing the way we live in and move around cities across the globe.”

In an interview with Axios, Lime President Joe Kraus said that the company was “very confident’ that it will be the first company in the space to be profitable. Along with the job cuts, Kraus noted that they had also improved scooter longevity with scooters now lasting for 14 months before they have to be replaced versus six months previously. Scooter longevity is an important consideration for players in the market with short life-spans making it more difficult to make a profit per scooter; the longer a scooter is in revenue service the more profitable it becomes.

Kraus also took the opportunity to deny reports that emerged in August that the company was seeking to raise more venture capital funding. Lime last raised $310 million on a $2.4 billion valuation in February.

Moving forward, Kraus added that the company was not looking to sell but it could be interested in being on the other side of the mergers and acquisitions table, suggesting that Lime may be interested in acquiring a competitor.

Photo: Pexels

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