Uber bought a company of shared bicycles. The company announced on Monday that it will acquire Jump, the e-bike startup based in New York that has been working with Uber for two months on a pilot to integrate bicycle sharing options into the Uber application. Apparently, the test was good because now Jump will become a subsidiary of Uber, and the company that gives free rein will jump into a completely new industry, with a different set of challenges and pitfalls.
The size of the deal was not disclosed, however, as TechCrunch reported last week, Jump weighed an offer of $ 100 million Uber or a new round of risk investment. The competition was fierce, but finally Uber won. In a blog post, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said the acquisition will help in its mission to "bring together multiple modes of transport within the Uber application, so you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get to your destination, whether whether on an Uber, on a bicycle, on the subway, or more. "(Complementary question: Is Uber thinking of buying the MTA?)
The agreement gives Uber access to the 12,000 bicycles without a dock and with Jump GPS in 40 cities in six countries, a great network in the world of shared bicycles that will surely be even greater since the Uber capital will help to climb even more. It also helps fulfill one of the company's missions to expand to new modes of transport.
Khosrowshahi called Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki "an impressive entrepreneur who spent the better part of a decade giving life to bike sharing around the world." Rzepecki said he initially distrusted the offer. of Uber, given the numerous scandals that have shaken the company last year. He writes:
When we started talking to Uber, they were going through an extremely difficult time, with negative headlines every week and a massive change in leadership. We expected to find a toxic work environment and a broken culture. Instead, everyone we met was smart, passionate and really wanted to help our team succeed. Through our collaboration we realized that we shared Uber's vision of multimodal mobility and we had the same goal of decreasing car ownership. Even more importantly, we could see the change in the company once Dara was appointed CEO since he began to lead with humility and in a way that we feel reflects our values. It soon became clear that with such strong synergies and alignment in the mission, JUMP could better meet its objectives if it were part of Uber.
Formerly known as Social Bicycles, Jump launched its shared bicycle business in 2010 with the goal of building smart and powerful bikes that could be blocked in any rack. Jump bikes have built-in U-shaped locks that allow them to be secured to existing bike stands or the "curbside furniture area", which is where you can see things like light poles, benches and power poles. Earlier this year, the company received exclusive permission from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) to launch its service in Uber's backyard. Since the bicycles without anchorage are quite new in the EE. In the US, SFMTA is using the next 18 months to evaluate the program and see if it works before allowing Jump to offer its long-term services. Jump has 250 red neon electric bicycles scattered around the city today.
Weeks after the launch of Jump in San Francisco, Uber announced a pilot to integrate the new application of shared bicycles into its application. Uber users who were interested in carrying two wheels instead of four could press the "bicycle" option in the application, which is located in the upper left corner of the home screen. The application would show them available bicycles that can be reserved. After arriving at their destination, the bicycles should be left on a public shelf in the designated "bicycle area" shown on the application map.
. moment. Unlike fixed-docks shared bike services like Ford GoBike from Motivate in San Francisco, Citi Bike in New York City and Capital Bikeshare in Washington, DC, you can pick up services without a station such as Jump, Mobike, Ofo, Spin and LimeBike. and it was left in any place where there is space for bicycle parking. Some, like Jump, also offer pedal assistance powered by an electric motor, which will surely help when you try to attack the well-known San Francisco hills. That business model is now being used by electric scooter services like Bird in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The city of New York plans to launch a pilot this summer, with 12 companies (including Jump) in the race.
Naturally, all this activity has led some to wonder if the market is already oversaturated. Transit enthusiasts are thrilled with the excitement of cycling, but these non-docking services are becoming synonymous with clogged traffic and sidewalks. Photo essays of many abandoned motorcycles in China, or bicycles hanging from trees or sunk in streams in Washington, DC or Dallas, are popular online.
The question is: will the acquisition of Uber bring more scrutiny to this nascent industry? Will a shared bicycle company owned by Uber give some legitimacy to an exponentially growing business, or will it bring more skepticism? And most importantly: Will your Uber rating suffer if you leave your bike in a bush?
Local officials across the country are preparing for a flood, such as new joint bicycle companies armed with tens of millions of dollars in venture capital to cover most of the major cities in the coming months. The acquisition of Jump by Uber will undoubtedly send the current hype cycle to the stratosphere.
Uber's interest in Jump is pretty obvious. The addition of a bicycle option in the Uber application increases the possibility that other transportation options, such as the subway and buses, will also be integrated into the application of the ride-hail service later on. Last February, Khosrowshahi told a Wall Street audience: "I want to manage the bus systems of a city."
With so many travel options these days, there is certainly a demand among consumers for greater aggregation. Navigation applications such as Transit, Citymapper and Google Maps now list transport options along with transit and bicycle routes. People want to compare prices and make informed decisions, and there is a race between companies to be the first to offer that multimodal service.