Uber acquires Jump bike-sharing startup

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Next on Uber's list: the bike-sharing industry.

Uber users around the world may soon be able to hire electric bicycles through the app, after the ride-sharing firm bought U.S. bike-hire firm Jump. But it also endowed Jump with another asset that should be useful to Uber-good relationships with city officials. Most bike share programs in the United States have begun with the bikes needing to be docked, as US municipalities fear the pitfalls of dockless bike share programs in Asia.

Khosrowshahi said in an interview that Jump was "a flawless fit" for Uber's expanding portfolio beyond its core ride-hailing service. They can instead be locked to existing bike racks or parking structures.

JUMP is a dockless, electric bike service based in San Francisco and Washington. The decision to sell Jump to Uber came with the idea of scaling up.

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The terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but TechCrunch reported last week that the sale could exceed $100 million.

Uber is valued at between $48 billion and $68 billion, making it the world's most valuable start-up. Chinese startups Mobike and Ofo have recently entered the United States, competing with bike-share services sponsored by Citigroup and Ford Motor Co and California-based startups such as LimeBike. Those who have been following the development of Uber's service for a while now probably won't find this acquisition as much of a shock, as Uber has been working with JUMP for a few months now to integrate a biking option in its app. From there, the customer reserved a bicycle and was charged $2 for 30 minutes and then a per-minute fee after that. There are only 250 JUMP bikes available in San Francisco, though that number will double by the time September rolls around. Uber has at times lagged rivals in certain markets because it has been limited to private car-hailing. Pedal-assist bikes will now be allowed, but more powerful e-bikes that can reach speeds over 20 miles per hour will still be forbidden.

Now Uber is acquiring JUMP Bikes to better take advantage of the bike-sharing services business. "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". I wanted to promote biking as transportation rather than recreation, and saw early bike share systems in Europe as a possible solution.

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