Users of Uber can now reserve a bike for themselves as the company acquired a bike-sharing startup company JUMP for an undisclosed amount. Uber, which awaits the regulatory approval for the sale of its Southeast operations to Grab, acquired JUMP months after both the companies were reportedly working together on a pilot program to incorporate the startup’s service in Uber’s app.
Looks like the pilot program, which included 250 electric bikes, met the desired goal. Uber, which stopped the tests of self-driving cars last month, now rides into a new industry on the back of dockless bike service JUMP that was formerly known as Social Bicycles. Post this deal, JUMP will be a subsidiary of Uber. Though the deal value remains unknown, TechCrunch last week had reported that JUMP was expecting a price of $100 million from Uber.
Uber’s arch-rival Lyft has always aimed at luring its customers with an enhanced experience. In fact, Lyft has been catching up with Uber at a faster pace, be it with the monthly subscriptions or by hitting a million rides per day. And now that Uber is experimenting with e-bikes, Lyft too swiftly entered into a partnership with a city-operated Baltimore Bike Share scheme in Maryland. And Lyft invested close to $270,000 in the scheme.
Founded a decade ago, JUMP had initially introduced its bike-sharing schemes in close to 40 cities in six countries. Just last year the bright red color bikes were unveiled in Washington at a price of $2 for a half an hour ride. Customers can reserve as well as unlock the electric bike by using smartphones. The startup currently boasts of having more than 200 bikes in service. Recently, JUMP even got $10 million in Series A round funding.
Uber’s purchase of JUMP, which already has an approval to function in San Francisco, will help the company accomplish one of its missions to offer several means of transport with its app in the urban centers, thereby allowing the customers to make their choice of ride-hailing vehicles.