"our investment in Lime and our cooperation with the company, "this is another step towards our ideal of building a one-stop service to meet all transportation needs," said Rachel Holt, Uber's vice president, in an email statement. "Lime has a footprint all over the world. "We are excited to be able to integrate their electric scooter service into the Uber app so that consumers can have another quick, inexpensive urban travel option, especially for easy access to the public transport system."
As electric scooter sharing services enter more and more American cities, this service has become a controversial topic. Regulators are eager to enact laws for this new mode of transportation, and many users say they are happy to use electric scooters in crowded cities. However, some residents complain that electric scooter users do not obey the traffic rules, and they use scooters on the sidewalk, which poses a risk to pedestrians.
Bird has become the fastest-growing startup, and its valuation has reached more than $1 billion in the latest financing round, becoming a "unicorn" company. Today, Lime has also joined the "club" of the Unicorn Company. As of now, Bird has raised a total of 418 million US dollars, and Lime has raised 467 million US dollars. Both companies were founded in 2017.
Travis Vander Zanden, CEO of Bird, had a complex relationship with Uber and Lyft. He founded Cherry, an on-demand car wash startup, which was acquired by Lyft in 2013. Through the deal, he became Lyft's chief operating officer (COO). A year later he was poached by Uber, triggering a scandal when Lyft sued him for stealing classified information. By June 2016, the two sides have reached a settlement. Van der Janden then left Uberin in September 2016.
Uber did not disclose the company's investment in Lime, but Lime said its investment scale is "quite large." After a strategic partnership between Uber and Lime, the latter's electric scooter will use both companies' brands and provide services to users through Uber applications. In January of this year, Uber and the pile-free bicycle sharing service Jump also reached a similar cooperation, and then finally acquired the latter in April.
Although Lime and Bird are leading the field of electric scooters, several other companies are also engaged in this business. Like Uber, Lyft also said it is focusing on providing electric scooter rental services. Other companies offering such services include Scoot, Razor, Ofo, Ridecell, Uscooter, Skip and CycleHop.
Lime's services are now available in more than 70 cities in the US and Europe, and after completing a new financing round, the company said it plans to continue expanding its business. Company co-founders Toby Sun and Brad Bao said in a statement: "As we continue to push the boundaries of urban transport to the outreach, we are excited to be able to work with new partners and will bring a new chapter to this emerging field. ”