Lyft is going toe-to-toe with rival Uber in order to keep up in the ride services market. Its latest move is the purchase of Motivate, the largest bike-sharing firm in the US. The exact transaction value was not disclosed although it is rumored to be around $250 million.
Motivate operates bike services like Citi Bike, Divvy, Nice Ride and GoBike across various cities and accounts for around 80% of bike-share trips in the US. Under this deal, the bike-sharing operations will have its name changed to Lyft Bikes while the maintenance business will retain the Motivate name and continue as a stand-alone operation, supporting the bike-share service.
Ride-sharing companies are looking for ways to diversify their services and bike-sharing is an area that is gaining popularity. Lyft’s competitor Uber acquired e-bike startup Jump in April and is also investing in electric scooters. Lyft believes that acquisition of Motivate will help to grow and expand the services of both companies. Lyft was able to raise $600 million last week in fresh funds in a financing effort that included firms like Fidelity Investments.
Meanwhile, Uber is thinking of offering a subscription service for its e-bike business called Jump+. Uber’s Jump Bikes sent an email to its customers inviting them to try out their new service. But the subscription fee, which is estimated to work out to around $600 a year, comes close to the cost of buying one’s own e-bike. This is likely to raise eyebrows but Uber said the email was sent to get a feel of customer sentiments and that the service was not yet live.
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