Uber invests millions in scooters during coronavirus
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Lime, a bike and electric scooter share company, acquired Uber's Jump scooter brand as part of a $170 million investment deal that aims to position Lime as a post-coronavirus pandemic transportation option.
Uber led the investment into Lime with partners like Alphabet, Bain Capital Ventures, Alphabet's investment arm GV and others, and Lime will integrate its app withUber's JUMP scooter service, the company said in a statement. has acquired operations
"We have built Lime into the world’s leading micro-mobility company that is changing the way millions of people get around their cities," Lime CEO Wayne Ting said in a statement. "I look forward to building on this foundation with the Lime team in my new role,"
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The investment comes as people have stopped using public transportation and ride-sharing apps because of the coronavirus pandemic, in part due to lockdown orders and in part due to fears of catching the virus in tight spaces shared with strangers.
Micro-mobility services like scooters "will be vital to the new world affected by COVID-19," and Lime is "already seeing this as cities begin to move again," he added.
Electric scooters offer an easy-to-use alternative mode of transportation, though users have to be cautious about sanitizing the devices before use since they are shared between users without the intervention of workers.
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Lime said in an April 14 blog post that it is encouraging scooter users to wear gloves and disinfect the devices. The company also said it has enhanced its cleaning methods and "increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting" its scooters. Lime mechanics and operators are required to wear gloves.
"Lime has pioneered and become the global leader in micro-mobility, powering over 130 million rides in a few short years with the vision of making our cities greener and more livable," Lime co-founder and Chairman of the Board Brad Bao said in a statement.
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He added that the company plans to "focus on creating value for users and cities and building a long term durable business."
Bao announced in January that the company would be leaving 12 cities around the world in order to shift "our primary focus to profitability," he wrote.
"While the vast majority of our 120+ markets have adopted micro-mobility transportation solutions quickly and are profitable, there are select communities throughout the world where micro-mobility has evolved more slowly," Bao added.
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