Uber is stepping into the scooter-rental enterprise.
The ride-hailing firm stated Monday that it’s investing in Lime, a startup primarily based in San Mateo, California.
“Our funding and partnership in Lime is one other step in direction of our imaginative and prescient of turning into a one-stop store for all of your transportation wants,” Rachel Holt, an Uber vp, stated in a press release.
Uber will add Lime motorized scooters to the Uber cellular app, giving customers another choice for getting round cities, particularly to and from public transit techniques, Holt stated.
Monetary particulars of the deal weren’t disclosed.
Lime co-founders Toby Solar and Brad Bao wrote in a weblog that Uber’s “sizable funding” is a part of a $335 million fund-raising spherical led by GV, the venture-capital arm of Google mum or dad Alphabet Inc. They stated Alphabet is amongst a number of new traders. The cash will assist Lime develop and develop new merchandise.
In response to the corporate web site, prospects can hire Lime scooters in additional than 70 places within the U.S. and Europe and go away them parked for the subsequent buyer to experience. The corporate is trying to purchase tens of hundreds of motorized foot-pedal scooters to develop its attain.
The scooters aren’t with out their critics, nonetheless, who contemplate them a nuisance and a hazard to pedestrians. Officers in cities like San Francisco have been torn between selling low-cost and comparatively non-polluting transportation and preserving sidewalks protected and away from muddle.
For Uber, the Lime funding follows its buy for an undisclosed sum of Soar Bikes, which rents electrical bicycles in a half-dozen cities together with San Francisco, Chicago and Washington.
San Francisco-based Uber Applied sciences Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi goals to show Uber into the Amazon.com of transportation, a single vacation spot the place prospects can go to hitch a experience in a automotive and on different modes of transportation — even purchase rides on metropolis buses and subway techniques. Uber additionally has a food-delivery service.
Rival Lyft is in search of new rides too. Final week, it purchased a part of an organization known as Inspire that operates Citi Bike and different bike-sharing packages in a number of main U.S. cities together with New York and Chicago. It should rename the enterprise Lyft Bikes. Phrases of that deal weren’t disclosed both.
Whereas the customarily brightly coloured rental bikes have gotten a extra widespread sight within the U.S., they’ve already gained widespread use in China and elements of Europe.