Uber pays nine figures for Brooklyn-based Jump Bikes

Alicia Cross
April 10, 2018

It was the originator of the self-locking dockless bike and operates more than 30 bicycle-sharing services around the world. No financial details of the transaction have been disclosed in an official capacity, with Bloomberg reporting Uber ended up paying over $100 million for the firm, citing a source with knowledge of the agreement. The bike-sharing company, launched as Social Bicycles in 2011, runs GPS-enabled programs in twelve cities all over the world, including Portland, Oregon, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Since starting the pilot program a few months ago, Uber has found that the average distance of a ride on a Jump bike is 2.6 miles - which is not much different from how far customers travel on average for an Uber auto ride. In San Francisco, Jump's offerings are both electric and dockless-twin cycling innovations that helped kick off a nationwide (and global) bike-sharing craze.

With its own user base and JUMP's cycles, it's possible that Uber could avoid the bubble-burst that's bitten outfits like Chinese operator Bluegogo, which collapsed in November 2017.

"I had a chance to spend a couple of evenings with him, and really talk through his vision for the business and our vision, and saw a lot of alignment", Rzepecki told TechCrunch. Over the last nine months, Uber rewrote its corporate values, became more conciliatory with regulators, and settled a trade secrets lawsuit with driverless vehicle competitor Waymo. Users locate bikes from the service via a smartphone app.

Uber has been working hard to remake its image since Khosrowshahi took over the CEO job in August 2017 from Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick, who was pushed out in a messy power struggle in June 2017.

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According to The New York Times, Uber execs were impressed not only by the high utilization rate (six or seven times per day) of the 250 red bikes distributed throughout the city, but also how the average distance (2.6 miles) closely aligned with the average for an Uber ride.

Uber sees bicycles as a way to offer fast and affordable transportation.

Uber is side-stepping this controversy with the acquisition of Jump Bikes.

Uber on Monday closed its purchase of the bike-sharing startup Jump. This will allow the company to expand beyond cars, being able to offer customers other possible forms of transportation, and will also enable Uber to make moves within the bike-sharing market. "We feel confident that our e-assist technology will revolutionize how people explore and navigate their cities and are far ahead of any other solution available today".

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