Electric-scooter brand Lime has become the first e-scooter company to report a profitable year and is considering going public.
- Lime announced it had achieved full-year profitability making it the first e-scooter company to break even, let alone report a profit.
- The company reported an adjusted EBITDA of $15 million and unadjusted profitability of $4 million in 2022, according to TechCrunch.
- As Lime continues to make money, it is considering going public as it has remained privately owned thus far. CEO Wayne Ting says the company will go public to access a wider pool of money.
Why it’s news
The popular e-scooters buzz around many large and midsized cities—commonly the low, two-wheeled vehicles are litter the sidewalks.
Although the scooters are ubiquitious, the market has struggled to break even until this year as e-scooter brand Lime announced it had achieved full-year profitability.
The last few months have been difficult for e-scooter brands, including Bird, Spin, Tier, Helbiz, Voi, and Superpedestrian, which all had to lay off staff after not meeting expectations and being in an unprofitable market.
While other e-scooter companies were struggling, Lime was doing the opposite as CEO Wayne Ting says 2022 was Lime’s best year since its launch in 2017. Lime expanded, bringing on 150 new employees, and reported record gross bookings of $466 million for the year.
“We were fortunate enough to raise over $500 million in 2021, so we came into 2022 with a very strong cash position,” says Ting. “Now we’re burning very little, and we have an unlimited runway. We continue to invest in markets at a moment where a lot of our competitors are pulling back precisely because they can’t make money doing this.”
Lime says its main reason for staying profitable was keeping business internal. Bird, one of Lime’s biggest competitors, started outsourcing scooters to save money, while Lime did the opposite.
Lime heavily invested in building its scooters internally and creating a new scooter with a swappable battery. Previously when Lime batteries ran out, the scooters had to be picked up and recharged, but now a new battery could just be swapped out without taking the Lime off the street.
The new scooters not only have better batteries but also run better and are more desirable, causing users to choose them over other scooters, which benefits the company significantly.
As Lime continues to grow and create profit, the company is considering an IPO (initial public offering). Lime is a privately owned company, but now that it is doing well, Ting says it wants access to public markets.