E-scooter brand Lime has said it will continue to plow on with its hyperlocal brand strategy, despite today’s (9 January) announcement that it will cease operating in 12 markets and lay off a number of staff, including members of its brand team.
The company will close its operations in Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego and San Antonio in the North America; Linz, Austria in Europe; and Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in South America.
Layoffs have also been made across its central operations, with Axios reporting that 14% of its workforce – approximately 100 staff – will be let go in total.
The Drum understands the size of Lime’s central brand team has shrunk as a result of the layoffs, although the majority of redundancies have come from the 12 closed markets and the recruitment team.
No marketing jobs have been lost at the local market level.
Brad Bao, Lime’s chief executive officer, said the closures are linked to the company shifting its focus to profitability as the scooter market becomes saturate. In a blogpost, he wrote that Lime now aims to become “financially independent”, having raised $310m in series D funding last February.
This means the startup will now focus its efforts on markets that have “adopted micromobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable”.
A spokesperson for the company said Lime will continue in its hyper-local approach to brand building, despite the lack of profitability in the 12 defunct local markets. This means it will also continue to hire local agencies in its 100+ cities around the globe.
Lime’s chief marketing officer, Duke Stump, admitted in September that such an approach means marketing becomes “harder to measure” and “takes more effort and more work” than centralizing strategy, creative and media buying.
“But ... it actually creates sustainability,” he said. “It creates a great foundation and I actually think it just leads to greater insight in terms of how you can be relevant and resonate at the local level.”