Last September, Trevor Noah stealthily unloaded his “starter” Bel Air mansion for $21.7 million in cash, about $1.2 million more than the South African “Daily Show” host paid for the place in late 2018. Though it took some time, the mystery buyer’s identity has finally emerged. It’s scooter baron Travis VanderZanden, the founder and CEO of Santa Monica-based Bird — the $2.8 billion upstart unicorn that’s been particularly hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Set on a quiet cul-de-sac in upper Bel air, with astounding views of the entire L.A. basin and the Pacific Ocean, the new VanderZanden property spans 1.3 acres and includes a 10,000-square-foot, glass-enveloped mansion with five bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
Lavish amenities are not limited to a giant catering kitchen with dual islands and top-of-the-line stainless appliances, a movie theater, a three-car attached garage, a cigar room, 500-gallon aquarium, and a family room with walls of Fleetwood glass doors that disappear, allowing easy access to an al fresco dining patio, grassy lawn, and a knife-shaped, infinity-edged swimming pool with panoramic views.
Back inside the house, there’s also a 2,200-square-foot upstairs master retreat complete with dual marble bathrooms, dual dressing rooms, and an enormous private patio/lounge with those same magnificent skyline views.
Now in his early 40s, VanderZanden served as COO of Lyft from 2013 until 2014, when he left the company to become a VP at arch-rival Uber. Lyft later sued the Wisconsin native for allegedly breaking his confidentiality agreement; VanderZanden settled with them for an undisclosed amount, and without admitting wrongdoing.
In 2017, VanderZanden founded Bird, which has since amassed hundreds of millions in venture capital and a $2.8 billion valuation. The e-scooter juggernaut hit a major roadblock — literately and figuratively — last March, when pandemic concerns caused many major cities to suspend Bird’s operations. The company subsequently laid off 40% of its workforce, about 400 employees, during a two-minute Zoom call.
VanderZanden is no stranger to L.A.’s high-end market. Back in 2018, he and wife Samantha famously shelled out $8.1 million for a brand-new, Cape Cod-style mansion in a particularly leafy and coveted pocket of Santa Monica.
As for Noah, he’s upgraded to a $27.5 million mansion elsewhere in Bel Air, this one bigger and even more lavish than his starter house. He also continues to maintain his primary home base in New York, a $10.2 million Midtown Manhattan penthouse where he’s hosted “The Daily Show” since the COVID-19 pandemic’s stateside onset.