After a frightful 2017, Uber is aiming to get back on their feet under their new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Barring the fatal disaster that halted testing of their autonomous vehicle division in Arizona, they’re continuing to make moves in the unceasing goal of helping people get from one place to another. When a person jumps, they’re using 14 muscles throughout their body. Uber is challenging that science as they’ve been talking with bike-sharing startup JUMP about an acquisition that’ll have people using a lot more muscles while JUMP-ing. The talks began in the range of $100 million for the young company, and have now hit a final price point near $200 million.
Khosrowhahi has been speaking with JUMP CEO Ryan Rzepecki who’s been no stranger to Uber’s plagued reputation of the previous year. The two have finally agreed upon a deal and JUMP sees the possibility of Uber’s massive reach aiding them as they scale. Having the resources of the ridesharing mammoth, the two are slated to become formidable allies. Although, Rzepecki contends that his decision to sell was greatly influenced by the vision and direction of Uber’s new CEO, Khosrowhahi: “I think it’s really on the right course now and [Khosrowshahi] believes the way we approach working with cities and our vision for partnering with cities aligns with Uber’s mission. That was important for me and his desire to do things the right way. This is a great outcome and gives me a chance to bring my entire vision to the entire world.”
Continuing this mission, Khosrowshahi wants to take Uber beyond being merely a car sharing/hailing app, but a platform that revolutionizes how human beings are getting from place to place. Optimizing varieties of ways to get from point A to point B is what he wants to see Uber become, and the bike sharing company will provide an excellent on-demand product to facilitate this. JUMP has been successful in San Francisco, clocking average trips in at a distance of 2.6 miles, a very similar distance to what people are traveling in Uber rides.
Ride-sharing companies aren’t new to acquiring or investing bike sharing companies, it’s actually a trend that’s been in motion in several aspects around the world. How Uber and JUMP work together and develop their partnership at scale will be interesting to see in the coming months and years. As it stands right now, Uber’s acquisition of JUMP will invite JUMP employees into the Uber family, but they’ll remain an “independent, wholly controlled subsidiary.”
Of course, questions of regulation and legality will challenge the partnership as they grow, but this acquisition and the specifics of their development are nothing terrible compared to the skeletons that have been falling out of Uber’s closet over the past couple years. Cars, bikes, whatever, if we’re getting here and there easier, safer, and with more options, Uber and JUMP are headed in the right direction, regardless of transportation mode.