Thursday , September 23 2021

The federal government says Bird has received at least a $ 5 million bailout package, but the company denies this

There is a dispute over which companies have received federal bailout funds.

Bird, the scooter sharing company, received a $ 5 to $ 10 million loan from the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in late April. This comes from a list of thousands of companies published on Monday. The company said in its application to the finance department and the Small Business Association that the loan would help save 341 jobs. But less than a month earlier, Bird fired over 400 employees, or about 30 percent of its employees.

Bird believes, however, that it should not be included on the government list. "Bird was incorrectly listed as a company applying for a PPP loan," said a company spokesman. “We have neither applied for nor received a PPP loan. As a company, we decided not to submit an application because we didn't want to distract critical funds from small and local businesses. "

Bird's CEO Travis VanderZanden said in a tweet that the company discussed applying for a PPP loan with its bank Citi, but ultimately never implemented it.

VanderZanden later wrote that Citi had made an application while they waited for Bird to make a decision to apply for a loan. "We discussed internally and told Citi that we didn't want to apply via email on April 23," he said. "They confirmed that the (temporary application) was canceled that evening and never submitted."

Late Monday, a spokesman for Citi Bank confirmed that a loan application for Bird was never made easier. "Citi has not funded a PPP loan for Bird," the spokesman said in a statement. "Citi will ask the SBA for help to ensure that the agency's data correctly reflects actual PPP credits."

Vogel is not alone A handful of venture capital firms also refused to receive PPP loan funds, even though they were listed in the government's records. Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Foundation Capital and Advent Capital Management Everyone says they never looked for bailout money.

An SBA spokesman declined to comment on the disagreements. In the background, a senior government official said that only companies that have submitted applications from an approved lender through SBA's Electronic Transmission (ETBA) system are on the disclosure list. "If a lender has not canceled the loan in the ETran system, the loan will be listed as part of today's data disclosure," said the official.

The Citi spokesman declined to comment on whether the bank failed to cancel Bird's request.

Bird was one of the names of businesses that received small business loans over $ 150,000 that were released today by the Treasury after the legislator pushed for more transparency. In addition to the scooter startup, there are a number of prominent autonomous vehicle manufacturers, LIDAR manufacturers and other "mobility" companies on the list.

  • TuSimple, a self-driving carrier with offices in the U.S. and China, received a loan of between $ 2 and $ 5 million. The startup said in its application to the finance department and the Small Business Association that the loan would help maintain 324 jobs.
  • Luminar, an Orlando-based company that manufactures LIDAR laser sensors for Volvo, Toyota, and other automakers working on autonomous vehicles, received a loan of between $ 5 million and $ 10 million to secure 341 jobs.
  • Kodiak Robotics, a self-driving truck company that currently delivers freight in Texas, received a loan in the range of $ 1 to $ 2 million to save 87 jobs.
  • Udelv, an autonomous delivery company that works with Walmart and Baidu, received a loan in the range of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million. (The company did not disclose how many jobs it would keep.)
  • Optimus Ride, a Boston-based AV company with offices in Brooklyn and Northern Virginia, received a loan in the $ 2 to $ 5 million range to secure 159 jobs.
  • Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a California-based company founded to implement Elon Musk's transportation vision for 2013, received a loan in the range of $ 150,000 to $ 350,000 to secure 15 jobs.
  • RideCell, an operating platform for hail shipping companies, received a loan in the $ 2-5 million range to help secure 246 jobs.
  • Bolt Mobility, a micromobility company that offers a range of electric vehicles for rent, received a loan in the range of $ 350,000 to $ 1 million to save 18 jobs.
  • Turo, a San Francisco-based car sharing company, received a loan in the range of $ 5 to $ 10 million. (The company did not disclose how many jobs it would keep.)
  • May Mobility, an autonomous Michigan-based shuttle company, received a loan in the range of $ 1 million to $ 2 million to save 58 jobs.
  • Velodyne, the leading US LIDAR manufacturer, received a loan in the $ 5 to 10 million range to secure 450 jobs.
  • LIDAR maker Aeye received a loan in the $ 2-5 million range to save 85 jobs.

Update July 6, 2:53 p.m. ET: Updated to include Bird's testimony.

Update July 7th, 10:18 am ET: Updated to include additional statements from Bird and statements from Citi Bank and SBA.

About Cameron Roy Russell

Cameron Roy Russell is a 26 years old local activist who enjoys podcasting, walking and stealing candy from babies. He is energetic, but can also be very untrustworthy and a bit sadistic.

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