The typical origin story for a tech company includes a paper napkin and a garage. But the company that powers the bike-sharing programs in New York, London, Chicago and a dozen other cities started much differently: It began with a municipal parking authority, wound through bankruptcy court and got another shot at corporate viability off the Madagascar coast during the annual hatching of the green sea turtles.
Observing that ritual last year with a group of scientists, Bruno Rodi, a Canadian real estate developer, saw firsthand how those endangered reptiles are threatened by climate change, pollution and hunters. “When you go in extreme areas on the planet, you can vividly see that we’re really destroying the planet,” Mr. Rodi recalled. A globe-trotting adventurer, he has climbed the highest mountain on every continent, visited the North and South Poles and rowed more than 5,000 miles across the Indian Ocean. “I started to get conscious about this,” he said.
Aboard a ship on the Indian Ocean, he heard that the bike-sharing company, which is now known as PBSC Urban Solutions, was available for purchase. From a satellite phone, he bid about $4 million in cash to buy the company out of bankruptcy. He did this without hiring lawyers and accountants to scour the books.
“I’m not very rich, but I’m not a poor person,” said Mr. Rodi, a multimillionaire who also owns a Canadian furniture company and whose name is synonymous with sofas in Quebec. “So when this came on the market I said, ‘Well, that’s interesting.’ ”
He quickly learned why due diligence matters.
Continued story here.
And isn’t it time someone gave us an update on what’s happening with bike-share in Vancouver?