Uber eyeing multi-billion dollar scooter-sharing acquisition

Uber eyeing multi-billion dollar scooter-sharing acquisition

Uber has never been shy when it comes to expansion and now the biggest name in ride-sharing seems to want to get into the electronic scooter-sharing business. The Californian company is reported to want to take over either Bird or Lime.

Reports in The Information reveal that Uber has already held talks with Bird. The scooter-sharing startup was founded in 2017 but has quickly risen to become one of the leaders in the market for dockless electric scooters. Bird recently became the first firm to get its scooters into the UK, albeit with several rather large caveats.

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A Bird electric scooter that can be rented and parked anywhere. / © Bird

If Uber fails to secure a deal with Bird, it will turn its attention to Lime, according to the reports. Uber is already a minority shareholder in Lime, having invested $335 million in the company back in July 2018. Lime scooters can already be found in 70 cities across the US and Europe. The San Mateo-based company recently launched its motorized bicycles in the UK too.

Uber wants to get a deal done with at least one of the scooter-sharing startups by the end of the year, suggesting that talks are already at an advanced stage.

At TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin last week, Lime was forced to back pedal on the reason it hired PR firm, Definers Public Affairs, which has been involved in a recent Facebook scandal and controversy surrounding the Republican Party. The New York Times reported that DPA sent journalists a document linking anti-Facebook groups to billionaire George Soro, in a smear campaign.

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Lime’s Caen Contee speaking at Disrupt in Berlin last week. / © TechCrunch

CEO of Bird, Travis VanderZanden, said that Bird was not for sale. VanderZanden, who was VP of International Growth at Uber before founding Bird, might just be jostling for more money, we’ll have to wait and see. Either way, it is clear that Uber wants to be a big part of the scooter-sharing market.

What do you think about the potential for an Uber takeover of Bird or Lime? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Verge

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