Uber acquire electric bike rental startup; Jump

Displaying a mission to lead the global vehicle rental industry, Uber are diversifying their rental portfolio on what seems like a daily basis. From investing in driverless car technology to ventures such as UberEaTS and UberEVENTS, the US brand is doing all it can to remain a front-runner in the ever-moving industry.

This week, Uber announced that it would acquire electric bike hire company; Jump. Based in New York, the startup permits its users to rent ‘pedal assist’ bikes through its app. Whilst bike hire is not a new service in the US, Jump bikes are dockless, meaning they do not need to be returned to specific place. Being convenient and competitively-priced, the business has been hailed a success for its ability to offer reliable transport services that do not harm the environment.

Much like Uber, the company has enjoyed substantial growth in its initial years, with the bike hire market being a lucrative space to be in at present. According to a recent report, the bike-sharing market is growing by 20% a year; on schedule to be worth a staggering £5.3bn by 2020. Wanting to get a piece of this flourishing industry, Uber’s decision to invest in bike hire is a wise one. With many believing the number of cars being used to fall dramatically over the coming years as we look to become more environmentally-friendly, could bike hire be the main focus for Uber going forward?

Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi said:

“We’re committed to bringing together multiple modes of transportation within the Uber app – so that you can choose the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more.”

Reiterating the direction in which the industry is heading is David Bailey; a professor at Aston Business School:

Uber is looking at this partly because it is fast growth area but it is also looking forward to a time when we won’t own cars.

“Autonomous cars are coming and in big cities you won’t need to own a car in future. You might want to use an Uber taxi but then finish the journey on a bike. So it’s about offering multi-modal transport.”

Let us know what you think; is this a wise move from Uber?