Uber acquired the JUMP bike-sharing startup for an undisclosed amount. This comes shortly after TechCrunch reported that JUMP was in talks with Uber as well as with investors regarding a potential fundraiser involving Mike Moritz of Sequoia Capital. At the time, JUMP was considering a sale of over $ 100 million. We now hear that the final price was close to $ 200 million, according to a source close to the situation.
JUMP's decision to sell to Uber boils down to the possibility of realizing the company's vision of sharing bikes on a large scale, and quickly, JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki told TechCrunch over the phone. He also said that the leadership of Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, had an impact on his decision.
"I had the opportunity to spend a few evenings with him and talk about his vision of the company and his vision, and I saw a lot of things." alignment, "said Rzepecki.
He noted that although Uber had a rocky 2017, he is optimistic that Uber is on the right track.
"I think we are really on the right track and [Khosrowshahi] believe that the way we approach the work with cities and our vision of partnership with the cities" corresponds to the mission of Uber, said Rzepecki. "It was important to me and his desire to do things the right way.It is a very good result and it gives me a chance to bring all my vision to the whole world."
Meanwhile, become a top urban mobility platform is part of the ultimate vision of Uber, Khosrowshahi told TechCrunch over the phone. As more and more people live in cities, it will take a wider range of mobility options that work for both customers and cities, he said.
"We view the Uber app as a simple approach to car sharing and the automobile, which really helps the consumer to go from A to B in the most affordable way, the most reliable and as practical as possible, "says Khosrowshahi. "And we think electric bikes are just a spectacular product."
As part of the acquisition, JUMP employees will join the Uber team, but the self-service bike company will continue to operate as a fully controlled independent subsidiary, said Rzepecki.
JUMP is best known for the use of unattended and pedal bikes. JUMP bikes can be legally locked to bike parking racks or the "furniture zone" of sidewalks, which is where you see things like light poles, benches and utility poles. The bikes also come with built-in locks to secure the bikes.
Uber's acquisition of JUMP is not too surprising. In January, Uber partnered with JUMP to launch Uber Bike, which allows Uber riders to book JUMP bikes via the Uber app. The majority of trips, however, still come through the JUMP application, Rzepecki said. For the moment, the application of JUMP will continue to exist but this could eventually change.
"We hope that the experience will integrate more deeply into the Uber application and reflect what Uber is working on as a multimodal platform," Rzepecki said.
Meanwhile, Uber's international competitors have made similar moves. In India, a start-up based in India has developed into bicycles in December. Called Ola Pedal, the service is available on a handful of university campuses in India. Then there are Grab in Southeast Asia and Didi in China, both of which have launched their own shared bike services this year. Didi and Grab have also invested directly in bike-sharing start-ups Ofo and OBike, respectively.
With JUMP under the ownership of Uber, we will probably not see JUMP associate with any of Uber's direct competitors, but Rzepecki said that others types of partnerships could be interesting.
"I think the idea that we are inside the Lyft application is not necessarily likely, but there may be other partnerships that we are able to do that are less directly competitive, "said Rzepecki.
In January, JUMP concluded a $ 10 million Series A round led by Menlo Ventures with the participation of Sinewave Ventures, Esther Dyson and others. JUMP funding in January raised the total to $ 11.1 million. That same month, JUMP became the first stationary bike service to receive a launch license in San Francisco. Since then, JUMP has launched 250 pedal-assisted pedal-free bikes in the streets of San Francisco. Currently, people take between six and seven trips a day, with an average distance of 2.6 miles, said Rzepecki.
"We really know that we serve a shuttle," Rzepecki said. "We serve morning and evening at work, I think 22% of trips are in the morning and 20% in the evening – we really have been a commuting solution."
In October, the SFMTA will determine if JUMP can deploy an additional 250 bikes. The SFMTA will make its decision based on an evaluation of the first nine months of the program. This assessment, Techmrunch told SFMTA in January, will determine where the city should promote the share of bike without station, the impact of the stationary bike on the public footprint, including the maintenance of accessible footpaths, as well as as the burden of execution / maintenance on the city staff. "
JUMP also operates its network of electric bicycles in Washington D.C., and plans to launch in Sacramento and Providence, Rhode Island later this year. Through its software and hardware offerings, it operates through third parties, such as cities, campuses, and businesses, in 40 markets, including Portland, New Orleans, and Atlanta. JUMP is also interested in deploying its bikes in Europe, where it hopes to be in the spring of 2019. JUMP has also applied for a license to operate in New York, which recently legalized e-bikes.
E-bikes, of course, are not the only way to get around the city these days. This year, we have seen a number of startups launch electric scooters. As San Francisco tries to figure out how to regulate them, people are watching closely to see what is coming next.
Khosrowshahi is one of those people. He told me that he "was looking at some of them with a quizzical look on the streets."
The scooters are in a "strange place" because of the lack of regulation, Khosrowshahi said, but Uber "will look at all the options" that "move in a direction that is favorable to the city."