Uber and Alphabet are among the investors that have injected cash into Lime, an e-scooter startup business, in a recent funding round that generated $335 million for the company. Lime said it will use the money it raised from the latest round of financing to grow its global footprint, create new technologies for consumers, and expand its organization. On top of its investment, Uber will also collaborate with Lime on electric scooters and provide a variety of transportation offerings to riders. As part of that partnership, Uber will offer Lime rentals through its ride-sharing app and fuse its logo with Lime’s scooters.
It is, perhaps, worth pointing out that this is not the first time that Uber makes inroads into the electric micro-mobility space. Earlier this year, Uber partnered with JUMP, a company which operates fleets of electric bikes in various cities that people can share, to introduce the Uber Bike service in San Francisco. The launch of Uber Bike in the city marks the start of the pilot program with a total of 250 different JUMP e-bikes that anyone can rent for a period of time. Then last April, Uber acquired JUMP for an undisclosed amount as part of an effort to diversify its offerings for riders. The ride-sharing company now plans to introduce JUMP’s electric bikes to Europe shortly following the acquisition of the American startup, according to Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi who announced the plan at the Berlin-based NOAH conference earlier last month. Uber’s recent moves to dabble in the e-scooter and e-bike segment are understood to be part of the company’s efforts to take on Lyft, which also made similar investments of its own in recent times.
Uber’s investment in Lime is expected to boost the company’s efforts to enter the e-scooter category, with Lime having announced that it has crossed the six million-ride mark. The latest round of financing was led by Google Ventures, with GV’s investment partner Joe Kraus joining the startup’s board of directors. Other companies that invested in Lime include new and existing investors such as IVP, Atomico and Fidelity Management, Research Company, Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, Fifth Wall and GIC, and Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund.