Uber has acquired a bike-sharing startup called Jump. It is estimated that the deal is priced close to $200 million. It was previously reported that the startup was mulling a sale. The decision to sell Jump to Uber came with the idea of scaling up. Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki says that it was Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi‘s leadership which impacted his decision.
Jump is known for operating bikes that are dockless. These bikes can be legally locked to bike parking racks at the sidewalks, benches and utility poles. The bikes also come with integrated locks to secure the bikes. Both Uber and Jump work on a similar product, and it makes sense for them to collaborate on sustainable public transport. “I had a chance to spend a couple of evenings with him, and really talk through his vision for the business and our vision, and saw a lot of alignment,” Rzepecki is quoted as saying in a TechCrunch report.
Meanwhile, Uber’s Khosrowshahi is also positive about the new acquisition. He said that with more people moving towards cities, there will be requirements for a broader array of mobility options. “We see the Uber app as moving from just being about car sharing and car-hailing to really helping the consumer get from A to B int he most affordable, most dependable, most convenient way,” Khosrowshahi said. “And we think e-bikes are just a spectacularly great product,” he told the publication.
It will be interesting to see Uber catch up on the e-bike hailing trend after rivals including Ola in India and Didi in China are already offering bike-share services in their respective markets. Following the completion of the deal, Jump employees will join Uber’s team. However, the company will carry on as an independent, wholly controlled subsidiary.
Watch: Top rated smartphones of 2017
As the report says, Uber’s association with Jump is not new. Earlier this year, the two partnered to launch Uber Bike, which allows one to book Jump bikes using the Uber app. Meanwhile, Uber is not going to stop at just e-bikes. Khosrowshahi told the publication that Uber will “look at any and all options” that “move in a direction that is city friendly”.
Back home in India, Uber is speculated to merge its services with homegrown cab aggregator Ola. The rivals are backed by the same investor, Japan’s Softbank. The merger, if it goes through, will see Ola absorb Uber’s India operations. Sources indicate the move is driven by Softbank in order to avoid the drain of resources on both operations as a result of the fierce rivalry in India.