Deals for wheels

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Natasha Ber­nal

Ger­man fash­ion blog­ger Caro­line Daur is seen us­ing a Lime-S elec­tric scooter in Paris. Uber is said to be in se­cret talks to buy Lime or Bird, whose elec­tric scoot­ers are prov­ing pop­u­lar on the streets of Los An­ge­les and are set to come to London. Uber is in­ter­ested in buy­ing ei­ther busi­ness to add to its ve­hi­cle rent­ing port­fo­lio.

UBER is re­port­edly in talks to buy Lime or Bird, the start-ups whose elec­tric scoot­ers are on the streets of Los An­ge­les and are set to come to London this year.

The ride-hail­ing com­pany wants to move fur­ther into other ve­hi­cle-rent­ing mar­kets af­ter pur­chas­ing bike hire start-up Jump for $200m (£156m) in April, The In­for­ma­tion re­ported.

A multi­bil­lion dol­lar deal could be struck by the end of this year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

Uber is al­ready an in­vestor in Lime, which is val­ued at $3.3bn af­ter rais­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars since launch­ing last year.

It par­tic­i­pated in a $335m fundraiser along­side Google’s par­ent com­pany Al­pha­bet ear­lier this year and made Lime scoot­ers avail­able to hire in the US through Uber’s app. Mean­while, ri­val Bird was launched by for­mer Uber ex­ec­u­tive Travis Van­derZan­den and hired a small team of UK man­agers and mar­keters, in­clud­ing for­mer Uber staffers.

The com­pany dou­bled its val­u­a­tion in just four months to $2bn af­ter rais­ing $400m from in­vestors.

Lyft, Uber’s main com­peti­tor, ap­plied for a per­mit to op­er­ate an es­cooter rental busi­ness in San Fran­cisco ear­lier this year and bought bike-shar­ing com­pany Mo­ti­vate this sum­mer.

The next bat­tle be­tween San Fran­cisco scooter op­er­a­tors is set to take place in the UK, as they race to be­come the first to be of­fi­cially li­censed.

Lime was con­sid­er­ing Mil­ton Keynes as its first launch site in the UK, while Bird has started tri­alling its scoot­ers in the Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park.

Uber and Lime did not re­spond to re­quests to com­ment. Bird de­clined to com­ment.

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