Uber has officially partnered with Lime, just 18 months after its launch in San Mateo, California.
Lime, a service that lets customers rent scooters around cities and leave them on the sidewalk for the next person to pick up, is available in more than 70 markets in the United States and Europe. Uber will promote Lime through the app and place its logo on the scooters as part of the $335 million investing round led by Alphabet in the current $1.1 billion scooter transportation industry.
Uber’s selection of Lime over Los Angeles-based, Bird (valued at $2 billion) may be related to its founder, Travis VanderZanded, a once-upon-a-time Uber executive who adopted a similar Uber aesthetic. Lime’s aesthetic focuses on lime green detailing and distinguished minimalism, which seems to pair well with Uber’s overall image.
While Lime managed to raise an impressive $467 million before the partnership, its newfound resources will allow for the increased production of Lime-S electric scooters — a custom in-house design that give riders a safe and effortless transportation experience. While the Lime-S scooters are manufactured in China, co-founder Brad Boa does not feel threatened by the potential of Chinese tariffs impacting the manufacturing cost of the scooters.
A partnership in January between Uber and Jump, a bike sharing app, resulted in a $100 million dollar buy-out by Uber. It is unclear if Uber has the same plans for Lime, as CEO Dara Khosrowshahi explained, the deal does not prevent Uber from entering the scooter business on its own and has filed an application in San Francisco to introduce a scooter service.
Uber was drawn to Lime because “their footprint is obviously quite expansive at this point, and we’re really excited to see where it can go,” explained Rachel Holt, who is leading the scooter and bike-rental efforts along with public transportation partnerships for Uber Technologies. Chief Executive Officer, Toby Sun, said Lime was impressed by Uber’s strategy and its global heft as “not many ride-share programs are global.”
The Lime-Uber partnership further supports Khosrowshahi goal for Uber, which is to offer “the fastest or most affordable way to get where you’re going, whether that’s in an Uber, on a bike, on the subway, or more.”
Already in major US cities such as Austin, Seattle, Chicago and college campuses, you can reach out to the Lime team here to bring the Lime-S scooters to your city or campus.