>> A scooter sharing frenzy has been hitting cities across the US, and big money is flowing in. On Monday, Lime based in the Silicon Valley said it's raising $335,000,000 in its latest funding round with Uber and GV. Alphabet's venture capital arm as stakeholders, and Uber will be adding Lime scooters to its lineup of transportation services.
It works by finding a scooter in the app, canning, and riding away, similar to the dockless bike sharing services, that have been taking many cities by storm, except, with motorized scooters. Reuters Heather Somerville has been following the money.>> Scooter companies are raising huge sums of money, and they're hitting really high valuations early on in their life.
With this latest fundraising round, Lime now has a valuation of just over a billion dollars, according to my sources. And BIRD, a scooter company that was founded in Santa Monica, California in the fall of last year, already has a $2 billion valuation after it raised its most recent financing round, just a couple weeks ago.
>> The bike sharing craze kicked off in China with companies like ofo and Mobike, which now tout multi-billion dollar valuations, although scooter sharing hasn't taken off there. So what's luring investors to scooter sharing services?>> The early numbers out of companies like BIRD, in terms of number of rentals they're getting every single day in cities like Santa Monica, is huge.
So they see the volume of consumers who are using this, and investors get very excited.>> Well, scooters have enjoyed fan fare in several cities, it's also raised the ire of regulators and residents, as they have littered sidewalks, and parks, and block driveways, and doorways, scooter riders on crowded side walks have also caused problems with more and more tales of serious accidents and injuries surfacing in the media.
San francisco city officials even issued a ban on scooters last month, requiring the companies first obtain permits, and mandating a cap on the number of scooters allowed