The scooter startup Chicken, which additionally does enterprise in San Francisco as Scoot, is getting its wings clipped after reportedly overstating income for 2 years, and is now mulling chapter, or discontinuing enterprise altogether.
You’d be forgiven for complicated the names of the three app-powered scooter firms permitted to do enterprise in San Francisco (I do know I do). They’re Lime, Spin, and Scoot. To make issues all of the extra complicated, Scoot is definitely owned by a bigger scooter firm known as Chicken, after Chicken acquired Scoot in 2019. However there could also be fewer of those scooter firms’ names to recollect in gentle of a report this afternoon from TechCrunch that Chicken could also be declaring chapter, and even discontinuing operations altogether.
The large hassle began Friday, or a minimum of it was reported to the SEC on Friday. (And is it bizarre for an organization to submit SEC filings on the Veterans Day vacation? Is that the equal of a foul information dump?) Both manner, that SEC submitting submitted on Veterans Day famous an accounting error of which Chicken mentioned “the error resulted in an overstatement of income” for each 2020 and 2021. Whether or not intentional or not, the dangerous information didn’t floor within the media till Monday.
“The corporate was improperly counting preloaded ‘pockets’ balances as income after the completion of sure scooter journeys,” as The Verge explains. “Now it says its monetary reviews for 2020 and 2021 can ‘now not be relied upon.’”
And Chicken’s state of affairs sounds extremely grim. In a separate submitting obtained by TechCrunch, Chicken mentioned it’d “must reduce or discontinue sure or all of its operations in an effort to cut back prices or search chapter safety.”
TechCruch moreover lays out how not-good issues search for the scooter firm. “Chicken has been battling since going public through particular goal acquisition merger in 2021,” TechCrunch explains. “The younger firm’s dramas have solely heightened over the previous few months. Since Might, Chicken has dismantled its retail enterprise, laid off 23% of employees, obtained a warning from the New York Inventory Change for buying and selling too low and exited Germany, Sweden, Norway and ‘a number of dozen’ markets within the U.S.”
Chicken could have been on the outs in San Francisco, anyway. A latest Board of Supervisors demand that they set up geofencing expertise to maintain the scooters from operating on sidewalks has the corporate considering ending SF operations, in response to the Examiner.
However now Chicken’s precarious monetary predicament may power them to fly the coop anyway, not simply in San Francisco, however in each metropolis with Chicken and Scoot scooters.
Associated: Guess What! Chicken Purchased Scoot [SFist]
Picture: Joe Kukura, SFist