Uber may be considering buying Motivate out from under Lyft, following reports from earlier this month which suggested a deal had been struck between the latter two companies. As of this writing, there aren't any financial details that have been put forward with regard to what Uber's offer was and no official announcement has been made. However, the New York City bike-sharing company has reportedly received one. The company also operates a bike-sharing program out of San Francisco called Ford GoBike and further programs out of Boston, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Motivate currently has valuation set at around $250 million and is experiencing a decent level of growth. Approximately 3.18 million bikes were loaned out to riders over the course of the past month. That's in spite of the fact that it is still working out optimization of its business model.
Although there's been no information provided about how much Uber was willing to offer for the company, Lyft is known to have made an offer that's level with Motivate's valuation. The increase in competition between the two companies is nothing new, with both pouring assets into everything from scooters to autonomous vehicles and airborne taxis. If Uber has made an offer to buy out Motivate, it would simply mark one more area in which the two are fighting for the upper hand. However, there may be a deeper motivation behind the apparent deals. Motivate has faced some opposition from various administrations at the state and city levels but the company is also a direct competitor to both Lyft and Uber.
It's likely that the majority of Uber and Lyft's customers use the ride-sharing platform as a means of convenient transportation that's altogether separate from the audience targeted Motivate. At the same time, a lot of those potential customers almost certainly overlap and a fair percentage of those might prefer to borrow a bicycle rather than to hail a ride from a stranger. That gives the two larger companies a completely different type of ridesharing to compete with. If Uber has put forward an offer and Motivate goes back to the negotiating table, the results could be very interesting.