Uber is buying a startup that rents electric bicycles to adults, and the plan is to take it global
- Uber is buying JUMP Bikes, an electric bike startup that currently operates in Washington D.C. and San Francisco.
- The company will operate as a subsidiary of Uber, with CEO Ryan Rzepecki staying on and reporting directly to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
- It's unclear how much Uber paid for JUMP Bikes; the plan is to take the service global through the Uber app.
Uber is buying JUMP Bikes, an electric bicycle startup that currently operates in Washington D.C. and San Francisco. And the plan is to bring the service to cities around the world.
JUMP Bikes offers "an electric, dockless bike-sharing service" — users pay $2 (R24.18) for every 30 minutes of electric bike they use. The bikes look like relatively standard beach cruisers, as seen above, but with the addition of an electric motor for pedal-free riding.
Its CEO, Ryan Rzepecki, and the rest of the JUMP Bikes team will join Uber as a subsidiary, with Rzepecki reporting directly to Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed; a TechCrunch report from early April said the price could be north of $100 million (R1.2 billion).
Uber was already working with the company through a partnership — users could reserve a JUMP Bike through the Uber app, and it sounds like Uber's plan is to broaden JUMP Bikes offerings in new markets.
"We are still the same team that is passionate about partnering with cities to increase cycling," JUMP CEO Rzepecki said. "But joining Uber presents us with the opportunity to realise our dreams faster and at a much larger scale."
For Uber, JUMP Bikes offers a chance to expand into the ride-sharing market in a way that doesn't rely exclusively on cars.
As Rzepecki put it, the acquisition of JUMP Bikes is intended as "a significant part in the transition of Uber to a multi-modal platform." And that's significant, as Uber hasn't ever outright purchased a ride-sharing company that specialises in forms of transportation other than cars.
"We're committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app," Khosrowshahi said in a blog post announcing the acquisition."So that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more."
It's not clear just yet when JUMP Bikes will begin showing up new cities.
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