Helbiz stock tumbles on reverse split, rebrand to Micromobility.com
UPDATE: The domain for Micromobility.com was purchased from Bolt, the scooter sharing company that disappeared without a trace last year. Additionally, Helbiz’s rebrand is not affiliated with Micromobility Industries.
Shared micromobility company Helbiz said it will do a reverse stock split in an attempt to get back into compliance with the Nasdaq, which issued the company a delisting notice last July because its stock was trading too low.
Helbiz is also rebranding to Micromobility.com Inc. to position itself as a micromobility brand that offers retail, rentals, shared micromobility, and *checks notes* sports streaming services.
The rebrand comes alongside the launch of a new brick-and-mortar retail business, which will include the setting up of physical stores across the U.S., starting with its first store in SoHo, New York City in the next 60 days. There’s also an e-commerce site up today, featuring a small selection of e-scooters, e-bikes, helmets and water bottles.
Due to the name change, Micromobility.com’s stock will start trading under the new ticker symbol “MCOM” and its warrants under “MCOMW” starting Friday. Helbiz’s stock closed Thursday at $0.12, down 4.5%, and then tumbled as much as 20% in after-hours trading.
We have a lot of questions, but
Helbiz Micromobility.com didn’t respond to requests for answers.
Top of mind questions include: How is the company paying for even one brick-and-mortar store with the meager cash it had in the bank at the end of 2022? When does the company think it’ll be back in compliance with the Nasdaq with regard to its stock price? Have they addressed the other Nasdaq delisting warning about failure to have an audit committee of at least three independent directors? Do I really have to write out Micromobility.com for every future article about this company?
That question about funding a physical store, and even the e-commerce store, is a real one. As a reminder, Helbiz closed the year with $429,000 in cash and cash equivalents. The company had revenue of $15.5 million with a $82 million net loss.
First of all, for those of you who are confused by this rebrand, a bit of clarity and background.
The domain Micromobility.com used to be owned by Usain Bolt’s e-scooter sharing company, Bolt, which up and disappeared from many cities last year without a word, leaving unanswered questions and abandoned vehicles behind. Sources familiar with the matter told me that domain name was actually quite expensive, and many have speculated that the rebrand is a hat trick to attempt to confuse investors into buying their stock.
Speaking about that, MCOM began trading Friday, opening at $4.15 and is already down 37% at the time of this writing.
Also, please don’t confuse the new Micromobility.com with the folks over at Micromobility Industries, who are responsible for an excellent micromobility newsletter, several worldwide micromobility events, podcasts and more.
PSA: This isn’t Micromobility Industries and Helbiz ($HLBZ) doesn’t reflect the vibrant micromobility community. They took their shareholder’s money and bought an expensive domain. This is a company desperate to find anyone to buy their stock. Buyer beware. https://t.co/2gKdFAHyLy
— James Gross (@James_Gross) March 31, 2023
Now, coming back to Helbiz’s plans for retail. It’s not clear what vehicles Helbiz will sell at its physical stores. From a quick peruse of the new website, Micromobility.com is offering up three e-scooter models and three e-bike models at a range of prices. On the scooter side, there’s the HelbizOne, which must be the company’s proprietary e-scooter designed for retail, plus a couple of Okai Neon IIs. The HelbizOne and the Neon II in white are not yet in stock, but they’re available for pre-order with delivery expected in Q4 2023 and April 30, 2023, respectively.
Under its e-bike selection, Micromobility.com offers two models from Noko, an Italian urban e-bike brand with prices in the mid to expensive range, and the Wheels One (which, to us, is really more of a seated scooter). Per the website, the Wheels One will also be available for long-term rentals for about $130 per month, but since the link to rent it right now leads to nowhere, it’s not clear if that service is currently active.
Recall that last November, Helbiz acquired Wheels Labs, a micromobility company that offers unique, seated e-scooters for either shared use or renting. Helbiz said the buy would double its annual revenue and help bring about profitability. Before that, Helbiz acquired Italian shared moped company MiniMoto to capture a sliver of the shared e-moped market.
As part of its rebranding, Helbiz said it hopes to position itself as a “micromobility consolidator in view of future M&A transactions.”
The company will continue to offer shared micromobility services across its three brands: Helbiz, Wheels and MiniMoto.
Reverse stock split
“The reverse stock split is primarily intended to bring the Company into compliance with the Nasdaq Capital Market’s minimum bid price requirement and will make the bid price of our Common Stock more attractive to investors,” Salvatore Palella, the company’s CEO, said in a statement.
In July, the company received a delisting warning because the Nasdaq requires listed securities to maintain a minimum bid price of $1 per share, and the company’s shares had been trading below that for 30 consecutive trading days.
The reverse stock split will be implemented with a ratio of 1-for-50 shares of common stock, par value $0.00001, according to the company. This means the total number of shares of common stock outstanding will be reduced from 278.5 million to about 5.6 million, and the total number of class B common stock outstanding will be reduced from about 14 million to 284,518. The changes will go into effect when the market opens Friday, the company said.
Micromobility.com said each stockholder’s percentage ownership interest in the company and proportional voting power will remain virtually unchanged, with the exception of minor changes and adjustments from rounding fractional shares into whole shares.
For what it’s worth, Palella is the company’s largest stockholder, with about 37.2% of voting power, according to an SEC filing. In addition, the dual-class structure of the company’s common stock concentrates voting power with Palella, which limits an investor’s ability to influence the outcome of important transactions, like a change in control. As a result of the way the votes per share are structured, Palella holds about 60% of the voting power of the company’s capital stock, and thus has control over things like the election of directors and any merger or consolidation.
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.