Thursday, 21 November, 2019

Uber to acquire Jump Bikes, an electric bike rental service

Samuel Aponte Samuel Aponte
Russell Knight | 10 April, 2018, 18:33

JUMP Bikes is a service similar to Uber that allows users to borrow pedal assist electric bikes.

Uber said in a statement it had entered an agreement to buy JUMP, but an Uber spokeswoman declined to disclose the terms of the deal. The Uber spokeswoman said the company had no plans to withdraw the standalone Jump app. In February, the first full month of operation, Jump says the company saw around four trips for each of its 250 bikes a day at an average distance of 2.6 miles per trip.

Mr Khosrowshahi described the platform as a "stellar product".

There also are established competitors for Uber to deal with, like New York's Citi Bike program, which saw its 50 millionth ride a year ago. 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. It would be the first acquisition for Uber since Dara Khosrowshahi took over as the company's chief executive in August. I wanted to promote biking as transportation rather than recreation, and saw early bike share systems in Europe as a possible solution.

JUMP's CEO Ryan Rzepecki is an impressive entrepreneur who has spent the better part of a decade bringing bike-sharing to life across the globe.

Bicycle rentals have seen enormous success in China to the point of equipment oversupply, and its electric counterparts are seeing steady proliferation in American cities, too, and Uber very clearly wants a piece of this pie.

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In Washington, JUMP is one of five dockless bike operators. Its bikes are all designed using a lock built in, so riders lock the bikes to a rack or pole. Jump, a Brooklyn-based bike-sharing company, announced today that it is being acquired by San Francisco-based Uber for an amount reported by TechCrunch to be in the vicinity of $200 million.

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 vehicle ride.

"The response from riders and the adoption of JUMP's neon red e-bikes have been incredible", he wrote.

It recently adopted a more conciliatory approach, voluntarily suspending its services in some cities to comply with local legislation.

"But our ultimate goal is one we share with cities around the world: making it easier to live without owning a personal auto", Khosrowshahi said in the news release.

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