Ridesharing

Lyft Plans to Buy a Bike-Sharing Company

Lyft will buy the bike-sharing company Motivate, according to report in The Information. The potential deal follows a similar move by Uber in April.

Motivate will cost Lyft at least $250 million, according to unnamed sources in the report. Uber spent $200 million to acquire bike-sharing operator JUMP, according to reports.

It was not specified when Lyft would close its acquisition.

“The two companies have agreed on the terms of the deal, although it hasn’t been finalized, one of these people said,” The Information said. “Motivate is dominant in New York (operating as CitiBike) and has a big presence in Lyft’s hometown of San Francisco (operating as Ford GoBike), among many other cities.”

JUMP operates in 12 cities all over the world, including Portland, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona, according to Wired.

The Uber and Lyft deals demonstrate the companies’ belief that cars might not serve as the tools of profit they now are, according to The Information.

“Moves by both Lyft and Uber come as growth of on-demand bikes, and motorized scooters, threatens to curtail demand for car-based ride-hailing services,” the report said. “Bike-sharing, which took off first in China, has eaten into car-based rides in that country. Even in cities like San Francisco, riding electric-powered bikes and scooters can sometimes be a faster way to travel than riding in a car.”

One sign of the promise of the industry came late last year when Ofo, a bicycle-sharing company, raised a reported $1 billion or more from Alibaba and other investors.

Also in 2017, industry startup LimeBike raised $12 million in a funding round that included Andreessen Horowitz, along with IDG Ventures and DCM Ventures. LimeBike’s model, an imitation of how bike-sharing typically works in China, involves GPS-enabled bikes without any designated kiosks. Bikes are located through a mobile app and then consumers use a specific QR code to unlock and lock on return.

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