Uber buys electric bike share startup Jump

Samuel Aponte

Owning and operating its own bike-share service may help Uber mitigate the threat that e-bike and e-scooter services pose to the ride-hail company's business, specifically for trips under three or so miles. Sources told TechCrunch the final price could be approximately $200 million.

I'm excited to announce that JUMP Bikes will be joining Uber.

Acquiring Jump gives Uber access to Jump's on-demand e-bike data - and valuable insight into a transportation trend that is popular in Europe and Asia, but has only recently started to gain traction in the US.

Jump Bikes, which launched previous year, allows people in San Francisco and Washington DC to hire electric bikes for upwards of $2 for every 30 minutes.

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Uber said that the data from its ride network allows the company to understand the best locations to place the bicycles in different cities, so they can be used more frequently.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA) - which represents major technology companies, including Uber - said the importance of the case went beyond the ride-hailing app.

Uber is valued at between $48 billion and $68 billion, making it the world's most valuable start-up.

As part of its pilot program with Uber, the Uber app presented users with a "bike" option in a drop-down menu. Combining JUMP's track record of product innovation and city partnerships with Uber's scale, operational excellence, and resources will allow us to make a global impact faster than if we were to pursue our vision alone.

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Jump's platform does not use its own bike racks, instead they are created to lock to existing bike racks in urban areas, and can therefore be picked up and dropped off at a wide range of locations. A JUMP e-bike ride of 30 minutes costs about $2. Unlike other dockless systems, which can be left wherever there's sidewalk space, JUMP bikes must be locked to a bike rack with an integrated U-lock that's held magnetically to the frame.

The ECJ said that since Uber was offering a transport service under European Union law the obligation to notify the Commission in advance did not apply.

Just as New Yorkers adjusted to the idea of Citi Bike docking stations after initial controversy, dockless bikes may become another one of the city's transit alternatives.

Critical to Jump's early success has been regulatory support it received from the San Francisco Municipal Transport Agency (SFMTA), with the regulatory body awarding it the city's first stationless bike-share permit in January. Currently, bike-share companies aren't subject to almost as many regulations, so this could be a smart tactic for Uber - that is, if they aren't tempted to develop self-driving bikes, which would be an unwise move, to say the least.

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In a blog post today, JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki said that his company will "continue to operate in a way that remains true to our roots and we will remain good partners to cities while deliver excellent service to our riders".

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