An executive at Uber said that it plans to double down on its investment into electric scooters and bikes in the next year, with the main focus on Europe. The company acquires a bike-sharing service Jump based in the United States, last year betting on development in the so-called micro-mobility space since it launched the two-wheelers of the company globally, specifically in the cities of Europe.
Head of EMEA of Jump, Christian Freese told CNBC in an interview that they want to double down on micro-mobility. They see how gorgeously it works with their core business along with ride-sharing, and want to finance more, particularly in Europe. Uber claims the adoption of bikes and scooters if Jump in Europe outpaced that of the United States in the last eight months of 2019.
It says over five lac Europeans rode the vehicles in the last eight months, racking up about five million trips in total. The company did not give statistics on how many users of the United States took rides with Jump, but said for the time being its most popular city is Paris after Sacramento and Seattle. Investing more into a specific area of its business might see as contentious among stakeholders, who battered the stock of the firm since it listed in spring after queries about when it will start making money. For its part, Uber claimed that by 2021 it could reach profitability.
A short history of Uber acquiring Jump
In 2018, Uber acquired Jump, and it came against a backdrop of the rising interest of investors in buzzy e-scooter start-ups such as Bird and Lime. Whereas, in Europe, companies like Tier and Voi have come into the dispute, luring in bulk of dollars from venture investment this year. However, those vehicles also met regulatory pushback in both the United States and Europe, with officials nervous about how few of them clock strangely high speeds and left wild on streets or waters.
Recently, France introduced strict rules for e-scooters, whereas in the United Kingdom still it’s illegal to ride them – yet Bird is conducting tests on private land in London. The priority of Uber in Europe will be focusing its presence at a deeper level in existing markets like London, where it rollout e-bikes earlier this year. The capital of the United Kingdom already overflowing with bike-rental schemes, but the company said it intended to extend its reach there, with plans to unveil in the London region of Hackney in 2020 following early rollout in Camden and Islington.
London is the main market for the ride-hailing company – it’s major overall in Europe. However, the future of the company there seen more indefinite following a decision by the domestic transport authority decided not to renew license to operate in the city. Uber is tempting the decision and can yet work while that procedure takes place. Freese of Jump said Uber is also in the process of debate with officials in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe about how it looks to test its scooters, addressing the issues regarding safety that would accompany them.