Lime Scooter Stock and IPO: Will the Scooter Startup Go Public Soon?

The scooter market has been booming even before the COVID pandemic. With gas prices surging, the demand for electric vehicles and micro-mobility solutions like scooters has accelerated further. Learn more about how Lime Scooter is helping to bring micro-mobility to the mainstream and if there is a way to invest.

David Dierking   Updated April 29th, 2022

Credit: Lime

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What is Lime?

Founded in 2017 by Brad Bao and Toby Sun, Lime wants to bring about an environmentally friendly and carbon-free mobility solution. In June 2017, the company launched in its first market at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro with 125 bikes. Today, Lime estimates that its users have taken more than 250 million rides covering more than 300 million miles. It has bikes in 200 cities in nearly 30 countries on five continents. Lime has also saved more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.

While it has since recovered, Lime nearly went out of business during the COVID pandemic. At-home quarantines and social distancing decimated the demand for electric scooters and bikes. CEO Wayne Ting said the company had to reduce operations in most markets, suspending business in nearly two dozen markets in total. To save money, Lime even had to lay off many employees in early 2020.

But once the world reopened, demand for clean, micro-mobility transport surged. Lime is attractive not just because it lets users socially distance and travel alone outdoors when they want but also because surging gas prices make driving costlier.

The company recently said that 2021 revenues are already back to pre-pandemic levels, and it plans to expand.

During its most recent funding round in late 2021, the company said it is dedicating $20 million to decarbonization efforts. It plans on hitting net-zero emissions by 2030.

What makes Lime scooters stand out?

E-scooters are much better for the environment than CO2-emitting gasoline-powered cars and buses. That’s true for electric cars generally, but Lime has several unique features that give it an upper hand.

The first is its “mobility for all” initiative. Through this, Lime aims to bring free or low-cost rides to people of all incomes and abilities. It’s broken into five categories.

  • Lime Hero allows riders to round up the cost of their rides to support community organizations in their hometown
  • Lime Access ensures cost is not a barrier by offering discounts on every ride to those who qualify
  • Lime Able ensures that adaptive vehicles can meet a wide spectrum of abilities and are available to riders at no-cost
  • Lime To The Polls offers free or low-cost rides to vote in local and national elections in over 12 countries
  • Lime Advocacy works alongside local advocates to support local safe streets and clean air campaigns

Another differentiator is Lime’s focus on the durability of its scooters and bikes. In 2018, a study found that the average working life of a public electric scooter was just 29 days. Lime’s Gen2.5 electric bike, introduced later in 2018, was developed with the goal of an 18-24 month working life. The company’s latest innovation in 2021, the Gen4, is expected to “far surpass the more-than two-year lifespan of the Gen3 and rival any available shared scooter”. The Gen4 will also feature a swappable battery to improve vehicle efficiency.

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Is Lime publicly traded?

In late 2021, Lime CEO Wayne Ting announced the company’s intention to IPO in 2022. That announcement came when Lime closed on a $523 million capital raise in convertible debt and term loan financing. How the company planned to go public is unknown. There was speculation that the company may try to IPO via a SPAC like its rival Bird, but that may be off the table for now.

Lime has raised a total of $1.5 billion in private market financing across multiple funding rounds. Major investors include Uber, Apple, Fidelity, and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.

However, we would not be surprised if Lime eventually tries to go public.

How to buy Lime scooter stock

Lime is not currently available to trade on the public exchanges, but it may be available on pre-IPO investing platforms, such as EquityZen and Forge

Before investing on these platforms, you need to qualify as an accredited investor. Broadly speaking, you need to earn at least $200,000 a year for two years individually or $300,000 a year with a spouse while expecting the same or more income this year. A net worth of at least $1 million, excluding your primary residence, is another way of qualifying. Industry professionals and those with special expertise may meet the minimum criteria too.

Investing in private companies comes with additional risks and high minimum investment requirements. Forge, for example, requires a $100,000 minimum initial investment. Privately-held companies aren’t required to disclose detailed financial information like their publicly traded counterparts. As a result, you may not have all the information you need.

You may also be buying from an individual who has much more information about the company. Private company stocks are illiquid and can be difficult to resell.

Publicly traded alternatives to Lime scooter stock

You may not be able to invest in a private company if you are not meeting the accredited investor definition or the minimum investment requirement or are concerned about liquidity. There are a few companies that have gone public and offer varying degrees of exposure to electric scooters and bikes.

Bird Global (BRDS)

BRDS went public in November 2021 via a SPAC merger with Switchback II Corporation (SWBK). Like Lime, the company was founded in 2017 and specifically targets the e-bike and e-scooter markets. Bird currently operates in around 350 cities worldwide.

NIU Technologies (NIU)

Headquartered in China, NIU is a leading provider of smart urban mobility solutions, including high-performance electric motorcycles, scooters, bicycles, and kick-scooters. NIU sells mostly in China but is growing its global presence. In 2022, vehicle sales were up 10% overall and nearly 200% in non-China markets.

🔔 Looking for more options? Learn about investing in scooters and e-bikes.

NOT INVESTMENT ADVICE. The content is for informational purposes only; you should not construe any such information as investment advice.

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