Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 9 July 2020

Uber leads $170m funding round into scooter hire business Lime

Deal sees the company take charge of Uber’s e-bike hire business

Scooter hire firm Lime's latest $170m funding round implies a valuation of about $400m for the business, according to Bloomberg. Image courtesy of Lime.
Scooter hire firm Lime's latest $170m funding round implies a valuation of about $400m for the business, according to Bloomberg. Image courtesy of Lime.

Ride hailing company Uber is leading a $170 million (Dh624.4m) funding round into scooter hire business Lime, further expanding its scope within the micromobility business.

Bain Capital, GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) and Google’s parent Alphabet also participated in the investment round. The deal also sees Lime acquiring Uber’s own e-bike hire business, Jump, but gives it a lower valuation than the amount achieved in previous funding rounds. According to Bloomberg, the deal values Lime at $400m - its last funding round in February 2019 attracted a valuation of $2.4bn.

Lime, which has operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, also announced the promotion of its head of global operations and strategy, Wayne Ting, to chief executive. Current chief executive and co-founder Brad Bao will continue as chairman, Lime said.

“Under Brad’s leadership, we have built Lime into the world’s leading micromobiity company that is changing the way millions of people get around their cities. I look forward to building on this foundation with the Lime team in my new role,” said Mr Ting. “Micromobility will be vital to the new world affected by Covid-19 and we are already seeing this as cities begin to move again. With our new financing and expanded offerings, we are strongly positioned to meet the needs of riders in a safe and reliable way,” he added.

Uber bought the Jump e-bike hire business two years ago with a view to building its own bike-sharing business that people could use through its app. But the ride-hailing company has been hit hard by a decline in business during the coronavirus pandemic and is looking to cut operating overheads. On Wednesday, the company announced it was cutting 3,700 full-time posts, mainly in recruitment and customer support.

"Lime has the operational expertise and undivided focus needed to build a scaled, sustainable micromobility business,” Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi said.

“We're glad that our customers will continue to have access to bikes and scooters in both our apps because we believe micromobility is a critical part of the urban landscape, now more than ever."

Updated: May 7, 2020 08:23 PM

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