Back in 2018, Travis VanderZanden dropped just over $8 million on an unfinished Santa Monica mansion. Long since completed, the Cape Cod-inspired house popped up for sale this May, asking nearly $9.5 million, and now records reveal the Bird founder and CEO has sold the place to NRG CEO Jon Penn and his wife Renee for $9 million.
No word yet on where VanderZanden will ultimately choose to roost, as his big new L.A. mansion — a $21.7 million Bel Air estate acquired from “The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah last year — is also up for grabs. The 42-year-old tech titan and his wife Samantha are requesting just under $25 million for the 10,000-square-foot contemporary mansion, which sports six bedrooms and nine bathrooms.
A former COO of Lyft and vice president of Uber, VanderZanden founded his electric scooter sharing service in 2017, with Bird becoming the fastest company in history to reach $1 billion “unicorn” status in 2018. The company is set to go public this summer via a merger with Dallas-based Switchback II Corp., a “blank-check” operation that focuses on entities reducing carbon emissions. Switchback has been marketing a $200 million offering that allows investors to buy shares of Bird at the expected IPO price.
In turn, Bird will receive hundreds of millions in cash as it attempts a return to profitability while expanding into more markets. (The company recently announced it will spend $150 million to launch scooters in 50 new European cities.) Bird currently is valued at $2.3 billion, well below the $2.85 billion valuation it reached at the start of 2020 — before the pandemic clipped its proverbial wings, reducing annual revenue to $95 million.