Deals for wheels
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.