from the jumpstart dept.
Uber has acquired bike-sharing startup JUMP for an undisclosed amount of money. This comes shortly after TechCrunch reported that JUMP was in talks with Uber as well as with investors regarding a potential fundraising round involving Sequoia Capital's Mike Moritz. At the time, JUMP was contemplating a sale that exceeded $100 million. We're now hearing that the final price was closer to $200 million, according to one source close to the situation.
JUMP's decision to sell to Uber came down to the ability to realize the bike-share company's vision at a large scale, and quickly, JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki told TechCrunch over the phone. He also said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's leadership impacted his decision.
[...] JUMP is best known for operating dockless, pedal-assist bikes. JUMP's 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 integrated locks to secure the bikes.
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Two-wheeled electric vehicles have benefited from improvements in battery technology:
As car companies make strides toward expanding the reach of electric cars in the U.S., the same is happening in the world of two wheels. Outside the U.S., motorcycles, mopeds and scooters are vital, affordable forms of transportation that alleviate congestion. They also run on fossil fuels, and many of the smaller motors are more polluting than regular cars.
In the U.S., these smaller vehicles largely have been leisure devices. But as battery technology improves and cities get denser, some startups are seeking to produce cheaper and greener mopeds, scooters and motorized bikes. When John McChesney reported on e-bikes for NPR in 2008, they were pretty much a new thing in the U.S. Electric bikes have a long history but re-emerged after the turn of the century.
Meanwhile, dockless bikesharing programs, popular in China, have made their way to the U.S. The bicycles are located using GPS, unlocked using smartphones, and parked almost anywhere. Entrants such as LimeBike, Mobike, Spin, and Ofo are competing against existing bikeshare initiatives and public-private partnerships that use fixed docks. Dockless bicycles have made their way across the nation, sparking skepticism, 911 calls, and thefts.