Monday, 24 September, 2018

Uber acquires dockless bike-sharing start-up JUMP for $200 million

Samuel Aponte Samuel Aponte
Sherry Houston | 10 April, 2018, 20:37

The deal comes two months after Uber partnered with Jump in San Francisco to make bike rentals available through the Uber app. Dockless bike shares, which allow users to leave their rides just about anywhere when they're done with a journey, have quickly become a huge business in China and are rapidly expanding into some U.S. cities. There are only 250 JUMP bikes available in San Francisco, though that number will double by the time September rolls around.

JUMP Bikes is a service similar to Uber that allows users to borrow pedal assist electric bikes. You might want to use an Uber taxi but then finish the journey on a bike.

Based on Uber's decision to buy JUMP within 60 days, feedback from users must have been positive.

In a blog post earlier this year, Uber wrote: "We're particularly excited about bikes because they can provide a convenient, environmentally friendly ride even in dense cities where space is limited and roads can be congested". "We see the Uber app as moving from just being about vehicle sharing and auto hailing to really helping the consumer get from A to B in the most affordable, most dependable, most convenient way", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told the publication. "New Yorkers have embraced public bike sharing faster than anyone expected", said de Blasio in a statement.

Khosrowshahi's rationale is that Uber's "ultimate goal" of "making it easier to live without owning a personal car" means it has to host multiple modes of transport.

For now, Jump bicycles are also available in Washington DC. It was the originator of the self-locking dockless bike and operates more than 30 bicycle-sharing services around the world. By the end of February, its first full month of operation, the company said each of its bikes saw up to four trips per day at an average distance of 2.6 miles.

As Reuters notes, this acquisition could potentially put Uber back on the map in global markets where it has struggled. In the past year, Jump has transitioned from a company that sells its dockless bikes to operating its own fleets.

Mr Khosrowshahi described the platform as a "stellar product". Such concerns have led many large United States cities to cap the number of bikes allowed or resist dockless bike-share entirely.

Uber, which already has a tie-up with Jump in San Francisco, said it would now look to "scale" the bikes globally.

"When we first began talking to Uber they were going through an extremely hard time, with negative headlines each week and a massive change in leadership", writes JUMP Bikes founder and CEO Ryan Rzepecki in the obligatory Medium post.

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