Helbiz started out as a shared micromobility company, but has since expanded to include haunted kitchens, media streaming and, most recently, a taxi service. Company reported its second quarter results 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 after consistently meh profit reports.
Since Helbiz’s public debut in August 2021, earnings reports have shown that dwindling cash reserves cause a company to burn out, not bring in enough revenue to offset high operating expenses, and continue to move away from core activities into new, and sometimes strange, business units.
While Helbiz’s sales have increased slightly quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, Monday’s report tells a similar story.
Before we get into the financials, a little context. At the end of June, Helbiz signed a letter of intent to buy Wheels, another shared micromobility operator, by the end of the year. Amid this, there were multiple occasions when Helbiz employees in US and Serbian offices had to wait for delayed payments. Sources told londonbusinessblog.com that, aside from late paychecks, Helbiz suffers from chronically late scooter shipments and a general lack of corporate structure.
Despite disappointing 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 due to the CEO of Helbiz Salvatore Palella’s Acquisition of 252,636 Shares of the company at an average price of $3 – a transaction valued at $757,908. That number is also still a long way from the $10.92 that Helbiz opened with.
Helbiz’s Q2 2022 Financial Data
Helbiz closed the second quarter with revenue of $4.4 million, up 46% from the same period last year and 33% from the previous quarter. Mobility, or shared micromobility rides, accounted for more than half of total revenue in the second quarter of $2.7 million, up from $1.6 million in the first quarter.
Helbiz reported approximately 1.2 million rides in the second quarter, which is almost double the number of rides in the first quarter, but only a slight year-over-year increase. Unlike Bird, Helbiz does not appear to report the number of vehicles on the ground, nor the trips per vehicle per day.
The remaining $1.7 million in revenue came from “Media and Kitchen’s incremental contribution,” Helbiz chief financial officer Giulio Profumo said in a statement.
During the third quarter of 2021, Helbiz launched Helbiz Live, a sports streaming platform that currently shows Italian Series B football, NCAA football and basketball, and MLB games. Helbiz expects to generate $6 million during the first Series B season, some of which should be realized as early as the second quarter of 2022.
Around the same time that Helbiz Live launched, it also introduced Helbiz Kitchen, a haunted kitchen delivery service. The company was hesitant about how much revenue the new service brought in, but Kitchen apparently delivered something. Helbiz said sales nearly doubled in succession in the first half of the year. Of course, doubling from scratch isn’t exactly a huge feat.
“Importantly, growth was solid in our core mobility business and we are improving margins while reducing the mobility cost of revenue,” Profumo said. “Even with our focus on cost control, we are investing effectively and efficiently in talent, advertising, marketing and R&D to support our growth rate.”
Helbiz’s operating expenses declined slightly quarter on quarter, but at $20.8 million, they nearly doubled year on year. Operating loss was down $16.4 million, compared to $18 million in the first quarter, but Helbiz’s net loss of $19.7 million is roughly equal to QoQ.
The company ended the quarter with $2.5 million in cash, up from $1 million last quarter, but much less than $21 million in the same period last year. Helbiz was supposed to raise $10 million this quarter through a new convertible bond issue. In July and August, Helbiz raised an additional $5 million to fund his “multiple growth opportunities,” Profumo said.
In the first half of the year, Helbiz used approximately $4.7 million in cash to fund its micromobility business. The company paid $3.5 million to vehicle manufacturers as a down payment for e-bikes, e-scooters and e-mopeds, vehicles that Helbiz is expected to supply throughout the year. And while Helbiz’s acquisition of Wheels will be primarily stock, Helbiz has made a $1 million down payment to enter into the letter of intent, and invested $100,000 in operating licenses, which it has categorized as intangible assets.
“Looking ahead, we will deploy more vehicles, pursue more micromobility licenses and drive expansion in Asia-Pacific,” said the CFO. Helbiz recently launched shared e-scooter business in Australia and expanded its existing fleets in the US and Italy.
The company did not provide a third quarter or full year forecast.