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Lime receives investment from Uber and Alphabet

Lime co-founders Toby Sun and Brad Bao

Lime is now valued at US$1.1 billion

Electric bike- and scooter-sharing service Lime has received US$335 million in investments from a number of companies including Uber and Google’s parents Alphabet.

“The new funds will give us the ability to expand our operations globally, develop new technologies and products for consumers and build out our infrastructure and team,” Lime said in a statement.

Uber will also work as a strategic partner with Lime. Lime’s scooters will be co-branded with Uber and be made available on the Uber app.

GV, formerly Google Ventures, led the investment round, with IVP, Atomico and Fidelity Management and Research Company included amongst the investors. Existing investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue, Fifth Wall and GIC, Singapore Sovereign Wealth Fund, also participated in the round.

Lime is now valued at around US$1.1 billion.

“As electric scooters grow in popularity and become a more beloved way to travel short distances, the partnership adds to Uber’s vision of becoming a transportation platform for people around the globe,” the statement added.

The electric bike- and scooter-sharing business has been built up recently by a number of startups, all keen to take a slice of a growing market. However, this has led to a severe over crowding, with bikes piling up on the pavements of major cities and some companies pulling out of certain countries entirely.

Uber previously bought bike-sharing company JUMP, and revealed plans to bring it to Europe. Uber and Lyft also ended up battling it out to buy another e-bike-sharing company, Motivate, with Uber eventually conceding to Lyft.

With the power of ride-sharing juggernaut Uber behind it, Lime will likely become a force to reckon with in a bloated market, which may well see a raft of mergers and acquisitions in the near future. How rivals, such as US$2-billion-valued e-scooter company Bird will react, is yet to be seen.

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