Uber Buys Bike-Share Startup Jump
On Monday Uber announced that it has acquired Jump Bikes, for a price said to be as high as nearly $200 million—more than $13,000 a bicycle. The the New York City-based e-bike startup that has been working with Uber for two months on a pilot to integrate bike-sharing options into Uber’s app. I’m guessing that the tests must have been a success.
Since starting the pilot program a few months ago, Uber has found that the average distance of a ride on a Jump bike is about 2.6 miles — which is not much different from how far customers travel on average for an Uber car ride. Each bike is also being used six or seven times a day.
“The utilization of the bikes has been higher than expected,” Mr. Khosrowshahi said. “People are using these bikes for multiple trips a day.”
The deal gives Uber access to Jump’s 12,000 dockless, GPS-enabled bikes in 40 cities across six countries — a vast network in the bike-share world that will certainly become even larger as Uber’s capital will help to scale it even further. It also helps fulfill one of the company’s missions to branch out into new modes of transportation.
Companies like Uber are betting on big shifts in how people commute. Bicycles have become popular because they offer affordable mobility while limiting traffic congestion and pollution. Cities are already seeing shifts in how people commute.
Uber’s interest in Jump is pretty obvious. The addition of a bike option in Uber’s app raises the possibility that other transportation options, like subways and buses, will also be integrated into the ride-hail service’s app down the line. Last February, Khosrowshahi told a Wall Street audience, “I want to run the bus systems for a city.”