Uber Buys Electric Bike Sharing Startup JUMP Bikes
Uber is going from four to two wheels with its latest acquisition. The ride-hailing company has bought JUMP Bikes, an electric bike-sharing startup that's operating in Washington DC and San Francisco.
Uber wants to expand the service of the dockless bike-sharing service and had been trialing an integration of Jump into the Uber app over the last two months. It's unclear how much Uber paid for JUMP, but according to reports from TechCrunch, the deal was valued from $100 to $200 million.
"We’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app — so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more," said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO, in a blog post.
JUMP launched in Washington DC in September 2017 and in San Francisco this January. JUMP was on an 18-month trial with the San Francisco — placing 250 bikes around the city to use. Washington DC issued the company permits to operate up to 400 bikes. JUMP was founded in 2010 as Social Bicycles and has years of experience in different types of bike sharing programs, with 15,000 bikes in more than 40 markets.
Two aspects make JUMP different from a traditional, docked-based bike sharing program like New York's Citi Bike or Washington DC's Capital Bikeshare. Riders can park the bikes nearly anywhere as long as they can be locked to something (i.e. a bike rack, light pole or street sign) avoiding the need to dock one at a station.
Secondly, these bikes have an electric motor, so you'll be able to travel faster with less effort than a normal human powered bike.
JUMP bikes can now be booked through the Uber app, although you'll likely have to join the waitlist before taking your first trip (at least in San Francisco). Riders can locate and reserve the e-bikes via Uber's map, unlock the bike with a pin and then ride away — paying just $2 for every 30 minutes of use.
Riders can still book through rides through the JUMP app. Techcrunch reported in January that JUMP had plans to expand to Sacramento and Providence, although its now up to Uber how the service will grow.