For commuters, electric scooters are emerging as the need of the hour. Increased demand in e-bikes has led to a significant shift in the traveling mode. The ridesharing firm Uber has now increased its investment in this competitive space. Uber plans to cater to the growing demand by teaming up with the dockless bike startup company Lime. Uber enters into the e-bike arena by working with Lime as a strategic partner.
The latest details about Uber’s investment were revealed through a blog written by Lime founder Toby Sun. Formerly known as LimeBike, the company raised $335 million from a group of investors that included Alphabet (GOOG) and Uber Technologies. Lime did not talk about its valuation, but according to Bloomberg, the latest funding round values the company at $1.1 billion.
Uber has made a significant investment in the startup that has a presence across 70 US markets. Lime is currently preparing for its debut in Europe and will be launching its e-bikes in Paris. Both the companies, however, did not mention the cities where this new partnership will be seen first. Based on this deal, Uber users can now book a Lime bike through the Uber app. Uber also plans to have its logo on Lime bikes.
In April this year, Uber officially entered into the bike-sharing business with the acquisition of the dockless e-bike startup JUMP. In June, Uber and its rival Lyft had even applied for the e-scooter permit in San Francisco, along with Lime, Bird, and Spin. According to the new guideline, only five companies would be allowed to operate 500 e-bikes in the city. As Lime rushes to raise money, it’s rival Bird races to be the first electric scooter unicorn. Bird, often referred to as the Uber of scooters, raised $300 million in its latest round of funding that values the company at $2 billion.