Chinese startups Mobike and Ofo have recently entered the United States, competing with bike-share services sponsored by Citigroup and Ford Motor and California-based startups such as LimeBike.
Uber has acquired a bike-sharing startup called Jump.
Before its deal with Uber, JUMP had secured $ 10 million in its Series A funding round. 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 pretty good value proposition on its own.
With that in mind, Khosrowshahi said the company worked with drivers to create a beta version of a revamped driver app, putting in features drivers wanted.
Uber is expanding out its business to include bide-sharing with its recent acquisition of JUMP Bikes. Together with Uber, I firmly believe we can make a more significant impact on the world and shift millions of trips from cars to bikes. The move may soon mean that Uber users will be able to rent pedal assist electric bikes through the app.
“It will help Jump in some places and hurt in others”, said an Uber investor familiar with the matter.
A direct Jump/Eats relationship would also give Uber more integration throughout its food delivery stack.
There’s baggage, but there’s also massive opportunity. Many bike share schemes in Canada use docks where riders need to return the bike. In January the company became the first in San Francisco to receive a permit for a dockless e-bike program.
In the USA, there are companies like Motivate Co, Bird, LimeBike, and Spin, but there’s no one dominant market player yet.
It follows a similar deal in 2016 with China’s Didi Chuxing, which on Friday also said it would open in Mexico – the firm’s first launch outside Asia.
The question looms – who will control the new wave of dockless bike-sharing?
This is the third time when Uber technologies have either merged with a foreign company or sold their operational activities in any particular region outside the US.
Jump sees itself as a more government-friendly option.
The ride-hailing company had argued that France should have sought the European Union executive’s approval of its proposed taxi law – something it did not do – and that therefore the criminal charges brought against two of Uber’s French managers were not valid.
Even as Uber is backing away from some global markets, the Jump acquisition shows the company is still willing to invest in new ways to reach customers. The bike-sharing arms race will be one to watch.