JUMP is joining Uber.
I’m excited to announce that JUMP Bikes will be joining Uber. This is a massive step towards achieving our goal of getting more people on bikes and transforming the way people move through cities.
Our 10-year ‘Overnight Success’ Story.
In 2008, I had a simple idea that would change my life. At the time, I was finishing a master’s degree in Urban Planning and was about to join the bike planning group that installs bike lanes and bike racks at the NYC Department of Transportation. I wanted to promote biking as transportation rather than recreation, and saw early bike share systems in Europe as a possible solution. Bike share offered fast, convenient, and affordable one-way trips but unfortunately the solutions at that time were really expensive to install and required a lot of infrastructure. I wondered if you could build a lower-cost system that delivered a better user experience by taking the tech out of the docking station and putting it on the bikes themselves. I decided to build a GPS-enabled bike that users could unlock with a mobile app and lock to any regular bike rack.
In 2010, I incorporated as Social Bicycles, assembled a small team, and began building the first prototypes of our smart bikes. A few years later we launched our first pilot programs with 150 bikes spread across four small projects, and by 2017 we had deployed over 12,000 dockless bikes in 40 cities across 6 countries. We did so by winning public bids and deeply partnering with each city. Though there were many tough times, the thrill of changing cities and creating thousands of new cyclists kept us pushing forward.
Then everything changed, but we were up for the challenge.
Over the last two years, the bike share industry shifted from a slow-moving government contracting business to one of the most well-capitalized and competitive consumer technologies in the world.
We worked hard to position ourselves for success in this new landscape, with five critical moves in the last year:
1. Transitioned from selling bikes to operating our own fleets
2. Switched to custom designed electric bikes
3. Launched JUMP, a direct-to-consumer brand
4. Raised funding that allowed us to enter key markets
5. Partnered with Uber to integrate bike share into their app
In January 2018, all these decisions came together when we launched 250 electric JUMP bikes in San Francisco. The response from riders and the adoption of JUMP’s neon red e-bikes have been incredible. Developing and commercializing our vision took 100+ people nearly ten years of struggle and hustle to bring to life but, we’ve finally delivered a solution that delights customers and captures the full potential of bikes as a means of daily transportation. In doing so, some important people and companies began to take notice.
Uber & JUMP
When we first began talking to Uber they were going through an extremely difficult time, with negative headlines each week and a massive change in leadership. We expected to find a toxic work environment and a broken culture. Instead, everyone we met was smart, passionate, and genuinely wanted to help our team succeed. Through our collaboration, we realized that we shared Uber’s vision of multi-modal mobility and had the same goal of decreasing car ownership. Even more importantly, we could see the shift in the company once Dara was named CEO as he began leading with humility and in a way that we felt reflected our values. It soon became clear that with such strong synergies and alignment on mission, JUMP could better accomplish its goals if it were part of Uber.
We’re excited to begin our next chapter and to play a significant part in the transition of Uber to a multi-modal platform. Combining JUMP’s track record of product innovation and city partnerships with Uber’s scale, operational excellence, and resources will allow us to make a global impact faster than if we were to pursue our vision alone. At our core, we are still the same team that is passionate about partnering with cities to increase cycling, but joining Uber presents us with the opportunity to realize our dreams faster and at a much larger scale.
JUMP will continue to operate in a way that remains true to our roots and we will remain good partners to cities while delivering excellent service to our riders. The JUMP brand will also continue and we hope it will represent the best in bike share technology and responsible operations. Together with Uber, I firmly believe we can make a more significant impact on the world and shift millions of trips from cars to bikes.
PS - I want to say thank you to our team, city partners, and clients that have worked together to make this possible. I would also like to thank all our investors, including the New York Angels, Rose Tech Ventures, OurCrowd, SOSV, SineWave, and Menlo Ventures. Thanks for believing in this dream and doing your part to bring JUMP to the world!