Lime reports its first fully profitable year on an adjusted basis


By Lana Tleimat and Jessica Bursztynsky

Micromobility startup Lime announced Tuesday that it was profitable throughout 2022 on an adjusted EBITDA basis—making it the first micromobility company to post a full profitable year, it said.


The company said it achieved a record $466 million in gross bookings last year, which is a 33% jump from 2021. It also posted adjusted EBITDA of $15 million. EBITDA stands for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, and can be used to measure a company’s profitability regardless of costs that are dependent on its capital structure, which can change. While Lime did not share its unadjusted earnings, the company said it was also “profitable on an unadjusted EBITDA basis.” 

However, this figure still does not include capital expenditure, such as the cost of designing and manufacturing their scooter fleet. He said the company aims to be free cash flow positive—profitable even after capital investment—sometime in the next two years. 

“We’re going to get to free cash flow positive very, very soon,” CEO Wayne Ting tells Fast Company. “We have a unlimited runway, we have plenty of cash and we’re not burning anything.” 


Profitability is a milestone the company has been chasing for the past couple of years. Lime had first expected to be fully profitable on an adjusted basis in 2021, but decreased trips due to COVID made that difficult until 2022, and now they are showing growth despite the tech bear market. They launched a new e-bike model last year, as well as a more rugged moped. Right now, they’re expanding service across the Middle East. 

“In a year like that, you start to separate the strong from those who are weaker,” says Ting. “One big difference is we are global. We’re the number-one player in the world. We’re on five continents. And this means we have the scale to invest in hardware, software, and operations.”

It comes at a time that other electric scooter companies are struggling. Shares in Bird are down over 90% from their peak—so low, they were threatened with delistment from the New York Stock Exchange.

Lime reports its first fully profitable year on an adjusted basis

Lime says they’ve won over 90% of competitive permits against other micromobility companies. They credit their success to their willingness to design their scooters themselves, a move that lets the company ultimately cut down costs in the long-term. 

“This is why we say, we’ve got to build it ourselves. And when we build it, we build for things like durability,” Ting says. “Our latest generation of scooters and bikes, which we scaled in 2022, last more than five years.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article claimed Bird had not reported a single profitable quarter since going public in November 2021. In fact, Bird reported both positive adjusted EBITDA and operating cash flow in this past Q3 2022 earnings.

Fast Company