Uber to Acquire JUMP Bikes, Redefining Mobility

When SOSV invested in the seed round of JUMP Bikes back in 2013, dockless bike-sharing wasn’t a thing, and electric pedal-assist wasn’t either.

Going back in time, Uber started in 2009 to provide a black-car service that quickly turned contentious with authorities, and JUMP Bikes was founded in 2010 by Ryan Rzepecki, a former city planner for New York City. It is telling that coming from such different intentions and backgrounds, the two visions came to converge to redefine mobility.

The JUMP integration will “help tens of millions of people get a ride at the tap of a button”, said Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, in a company blog post.

According to Brad Higgins, the SOSV Partner who invested in the company: “Ryan has a deep understanding of how to work with cities, which helped enable dockless usage. This convenience, and riding without breaking a sweat, leads to more frequent and longer rides compared to conventional bike-sharing programs. Users skip the car for the last mile, or two, or three.”

The Future Of Mobility

Bike-sharing has taken the world by storm with companies like LimeBike, Zagster and Spin, and China’s giants Mobike and Ofo. Mobike’s recent acquisition by Meituan-Dianping — a lifestyle service and delivery leader seeking an IPO valuation of $60 billion — also hints at potential new service models.

Yet, while everybody wants a sustainable world, we each want convenience, lower costs, and better health. No single solution offers all and the future clearly lies in combinations — public transport, cars (taxis, ride-share, car-share), motorbikes, e-bikes, bikes, scooters, kickboards, and more.

“Many consumers will be able to combine modes, just as they do with public transit,” said SOSV Managing Partner Sean O’Sullivan, “and that’s not just a win for Uber, that’s a win for society.”

With that vision, SOSV invested in JUMP Bikes, and also Getaround (P2P car-sharing and local rental), Carma (car occupancy), Zify (carpooling app for commutes), and SafeMotos (ride-hailing platform for motorcycle taxis in Africa).

Private carpooling vans have been common in places like South Africa since the pre-smartphone years, but on-demand apps could improve ad-hoc systems, and add new layers of services for deliveries and pickups of people, things, and services.

According to Barrett Nash, CEO of SafeMotos: “In the developing world, the private sector will be the first to offer core transportation solutions. On-demand systems will come before governments in building a logistics backbone for developing world cities.”

Eventually, what used to be the “last mile problem” has turned into an opportunity with every mile.

SOSV is proud to have served as the main source of capital for JUMP over the 4.5 years between their first few hundred thousand in sales to their Series A, led by Menlo Ventures just six months before the upcoming sale to Uber.

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