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Shared electric bike and scooter services are constantly at war with each other — whether it’s battling for an operating permit in a highly-coveted market, raising a massive round of funding or making a key hire. Today, the war continues with Lyft’s recent hiring of Eugene Kwak, Bird’s now-former head of vehicle product. Kwak’s first day as Lyft’s head of hardware product for bikes and scooters was this past Monday.
Bird has been on a tear as of late, between actively raising a massive D round at a $2.5 billion valuation and having been one of the first scooter startups to deploy its own custom-built scooter. The in-house scooters, previously overseen by Kwak, have proven to have a positive impact on Bird’s unit economics.
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Lyft, on the other hand, is still relying on Segway for its scooters. This hire, however, signals Lyft’s shift to deploying scooters built in house.
In addition to Kwak’s hire, Lyft has spent the last couple of months beefing up its bikes and scooters hardware team in order to keep iterating on its products. Earlier this month, Lyft also brought on Marc Fenigstein, co-founder of the now-defunct electric motorcycle company Alta Motors. Fenigstein is Lyft’s product lead for new vehicles.
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