Uber acquires dockless electric bike-share company Jump
- Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced in a blog post that the company has acquired dockless electric bike-share company Jump. TechCrunch originally had reported that the deal would be worth an estimated $100 million, but now claims that a source puts the final sale price at closer to $200 million.
- Uber has been testing a pilot partnership with Jump in San Francisco since February, which has allowed users to reserve a Jump bike through the Uber app.
- Jump CEO Ryan Rzepecki published a post on Medium in which he said the company is "excited to begin our next chapter and to play a significant part in the transition of Uber to a multi-modal platform."
Rzepecki noted in his blog post that the Jump team didn't initially expect to partner with Uber due to negative press the company was receiving last year for its former CEO's questionable behavior, "shady" business practices, treatment of employees and alleged sexual harassment cover-ups. But during talks with Uber employees under the new CEO's leadership, the Jump team reportedly was impressed with what they encountered, both in mission and employee dispositions and capabilities. "We realized that we shared Uber’s vision of multi-modal mobility and had the same goal of decreasing car ownership," Rzepecki wrote.
Khosrowshahi echoed that multi-modal desire in his blog post and stated the mission to offer customers multiple types of transportation, including Jump e-bikes, through its existing ride-sharing app. The acquisition will give consumers access to Jump's 12,000 bikes in 40 cities.
The partnership will combine Jump's product innovations and city partnerships with Uber's scale and resources, which will "allow us to make a global impact faster than if we were to pursue our vision alone," Rzepecki wrote in the Medium post.
TechCrunch reports that Jump employees will join Uber's team, but the bike-share company will operate as an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary. Jump will keep its bike booking app for now, but that could change in the future as the two companies become more intermingled.
This has the potential to be a huge win for consumers. There's a high chance of success if Uber keeps the business practices that users grew to like about Jump, but offers them on a larger scale. The acquisition appears to also offer quick scalability, soon bringing Jump bikes to areas that currently don't have them. Providing multiple transportation options in one app is also more convenient for users than requiring a different app for every shared transportation option. Plus, this opens the door for Uber adding other transportation options to its platform in the future.
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