They were gone, at least temporarily. All of Jump’s scooters, Uber’s scooter division until a few weeks ago, have been withdrawn from circulation. The explanation is very simple: Lime has completed the absorption of Jump after the agreement closed in May of this year. First it was in the United States, and now it has been his business in Europe.
The surprising 170 million round of financing for the scooter giant had a double return. Uber would lead the Lime operation by providing capital, but at the same time giving up its entire scooter business.
A strategic move that allowed them, on the one hand, to release the ballast of non-strategic businesses in the midst of a crisis of accounts –2020 and the coronavirus have carried away the ideal of Uber to achieve profitability–, which continue to bear millions in losses. The year that promised to be round for Uber, has become the worst of his nightmares with a business virtually paralyzed worldwide and mass layoffs. Only Uber Eats saves the furniture of a company badly hit by the virus. On the other hand, they maintain a direct relationship with the scooter business through the capital of Lime.
Now the ball is on the roof of Lime, who has sent all the scooters under the Jump banner to the warehouses. The problem? It is not clear what the American wants to do with all those units. And the truth is that it is a general problem for the electric mobility sector. Already Bird, after the purchase of Circ, has found himself in the position of having to reorganize his business leaving the Middle East and withdrawing all the units – for the moment without considering the sale option to buyers already interested in almost new scooters.
Before the arrival of the coronavirus, the dances inside the big electric scooter companies started happening. In a kind of premonition, which has already advanced the sector of shared bikes in the hands of the numerous Chinese companies that conquered the West, it was concluded that there was no place or business for all. The electric scooter has solved the saturation of the business with purchases by major competitors.
The problem of licensing electric scooters
At the moment, according to the company, employees and assets are already part of Lime, but the scooters can be found interchangeably in both applications. What they do not clarify is how the de-escalation of all the units removed from Jump will be, where scooters and bikes are included.
London will come first, followed by Rome, Paris and Barcelona. The rest of the regions, including Malaga and Madrid, managed by Jump before the purchase, are still waiting to see if they would be profitable for the new and renovated Lime.
In fact, in certain Lime regions you would encounter an added problem upon your return. The idea of the company is to maintain – for now – the aesthetics of Jump in all units. TO In the long term these would change to be unified with Lime. In Madrid this would mean the loss of a large number of circulation licenses. Almost 566 authorizations would be left in limbo by belonging to Jump as a brand and not to Lime.