Helbiz reports revenue increase but dwindling cash reserves
Helbiz started out as a shared micromobility company but has since expanded to include ghost kitchens, media streaming and, most recently, a taxi service. The company reported its second-quarter earnings Monday after the bell. The startup was the first scooter operator to go public via the SPAC route, and many in the industry wish it wasn’t so after consistently meh earnings reports.
Since Helbiz’s public debut in August 2021, its earnings reports have shown a company that burns through dwindling cash reserves, doesn’t pull in enough revenue to make up for its high costs of operations and keeps pivoting away from core operations into new, and sometimes strange, business units.
While Helbiz’s revenue has increased slightly quarter over quarter and year over year, Monday’s report tells a similar story.
Before we dig into the financials, a little context. In late June, Helbiz signed a letter of intent to buy Wheels, another shared micromobility operator, by the end of the year. In the midst of this, there were multiple times when Helbiz employees in U.S. and Serbian offices had to wait for delayed payments. Sources told TechCrunch that aside from late paychecks, Helbiz is suffering from chronically late scooter shipments and a general lack of company structure.
Despite lackluster earnings, Helbiz’s stock is trading higher than its public market rival Bird, which also announced earnings today. Today, at $1.43 after hours, Helbiz is up 12.6%. That is largely attributable to Helbiz CEO Salvatore Palella’s acquisition of 252,636 shares of the company at an average price of $3 — a transaction that is valued at $757,908. Also, that number is still a far cry from the $10.92 at which Helbiz opened.
Helbiz’s Q2 2022 Financials
Helbiz closed out the second quarter with $4.4 million in revenue, which is up 46% from the same period last year and 33% from last quarter. Mobility, or shared micromobility rides, made up more than half of the second quarter’s total revenue at $2.7 million, up from $1.6 million in Q1.
Helbiz reported around 1.2 million rides in Q2, which is nearly double its Q1 rides, but only a slight increase YoY. Unlike Bird, Helbiz doesn’t appear to report the number of vehicles it has on the ground, nor its rides per vehicle per day.
The remaining $1.7 million in revenue came from “the incremental contribution from Media and Kitchen,” said Helbiz chief financial officer Giulio Profumo in a statement.
During Q3 2021, Helbiz launched Helbiz Live, a sports streaming platform that is currently showing Italy’s Series B soccer, NCAA football and basketball, and MLB games. Helbiz expects to generate $6 million during the first Series B season, some of which must have already been realized in Q2 2022.
Around the same time that Helbiz launched Live, it also introduced Helbiz Kitchen, a ghost kitchen delivery service. The company was coy about how much revenue the new service has brought in, but Kitchen apparently delivered something. Helbiz said in the first half of the year, revenue nearly doubled sequentially. Of course, doubled from zero isn’t exactly a massive achievement.
“Importantly, growth was solid in our core mobility business and we are improving margins as we bring down mobility cost of revenue,” said Profumo. “Even with our cost-control focus, we are investing effectively and efficiently in talent, advertising, marketing, and R&D to sustain our pace of expansion.”
Helbiz’s operating expenses did decrease slightly QoQ, but at $20.8 million, they nearly doubled YoY. Loss from operations was down at $16.4 million from $18 million in Q1, but Helbiz’s net loss of $19.7 million is about flat QoQ.
The company finished the quarter with $2.5 million in cash, which is up from $1 million last quarter, but way down from $21 million during the same period last year. Helbiz had to raise $10 million this quarter via a new issue of convertible notes. In July and August, Helbiz also raised another $5 million to fund its “multiple growth opportunities,” according to Profumo.
The first half of the year saw Helbiz use about $4.7 million in cash to fund its micromobility operations. The company paid $3.5 million to vehicle manufacturers as deposits for e-bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds, vehicles that Helbiz expects to be delivered throughout the year. And while Helbiz’s acquisition of Wheels will be mainly stock, Helbiz put down a $1 million deposit to enter into the letter of intent, and invested $100,000 in operating licenses, which it has categorized as intangible assets.
“Looking forward, we will deploy more vehicles, pursue more micro-mobility licenses, and drive expansion in Asia Pacific,” said the CFO. Helbiz recently launched shared e-scooter operations in Australia and expanded its existing fleets in the U.S. and Italy.
The company provided no guidance for the third quarter or the full year.
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