Uber has announced the acquisition of electric bike-sharing company, JUMP Bikes.
The purchase signals Uber’s strategic shift away from a sole focus on cars and towards enabling frictionless, connected transport by any means – or what the company calls “urban mobility”.
Although the terms of the deal have not been disclosed, it is thought to be worth in excess of $100 million. The money buys New York-based JUMP’s IP, app, bikes, and 100 employees.
JUMP currently operates over 12,000 dockless e-bikes in more than 40 markets. Customers find the GPS location of the nearest bike using the JUMP app, and pay for its use as they ride it.
The absence of special docks eliminates the supporting infrastructure costs that other bike-share companies typically incur, such as the state-sanctioned schemes in London and other cities.
Uber had previously announced a pilot programme integrating the JUMP service with the Uber app in San Francisco. Uber has said it has no plans to withdraw the standalone JUMP app.
During the trial in the city, Uber found that JUMP users typically covered the same distances as Uber’s ride-share passengers, persuading the company that bike- and ride-sharing were ideal urban partners.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said that the deal furthers Uber’s goal of offering “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.”
In a tweet today, he added: “Incredibly excited to work with Ryan and the @jumpbikes team to make Jump a part of our urban mobility future. Lots of team members @Uber were super passionate about the product. Ryan and their passion is why we just had to do this!”
“We’re excited to begin our next chapter and to play a significant part in the transition of Uber to a multi-modal platform and help shift millions of trips from cars to bikes,” added JUMP CEO, Ryan Rzepecki.
Internet of Business says
The bike-share market is booming worldwide, after being ported into the West from China, where it has proved massively popular. However, the model’s success in Asia has given many companies there a huge financial advantage.
JUMP’s competitors include Ofo, which benefits from $2.2 billion in total funding by Alibaba, Didi, and other backers; Mobike, acquired by Meituan for $2.7 billion; Hellobike, which has merged with Youon Bike; Limebike, and Spin/Skinny Labs, which has received over $8 million in funding to date. Until the Uber acquisition, JUMP had raised approximately $11 million in venture capital investment.
Rather than try to compete directly in China and other parts of Asia, Uber recently announced a change of tack: pulling out of direct competition in some territories, while taking a financial stake in some ride-sharing competitors.