Founded in 2009 by Jonathan Schulhof, Motivate is the startup behind New York’s Citibikes and San Francisco’s Ford GoBikes. According to Motivate’s website, the company also operates programs in Boston, Portland, Chicago, Washington D.C., the Twin Cities, Jersey City, and Columbus, Ohio. Lyft boasted in its announcement that 80 percent of the bikeshare trips in the United States in 2017 were on Motivate’s programs.
This acquisition is indicative of the hype surrounding bike and scooter startups and the subsequent willingness and eagerness for investors and established corporations alike to reach out and grab their own piece of the last-mile pie.
In June, as reports emerged that Lyft was making a possible $250 million bid for the company, Uber reportedly also expressed interest in purchasing Motivate. Earlier this year, China-based dockless bikesharing competitor Mobike was purchased by China’s Meituan-Dianping for $2.7 billion. This deal also comes as funding for the last-mile sharing economy, inclusive of scooter companies, has surged. In June, scooter industry heavyweight, Bird, officially announced a $300 million round of funding at a $2 billion valuation. Bird’s main competitor, Lime, has also reportedly secured an investment from Google parent, Alphabet, as part of its larger $300 million round.
This is the first acquisition by Lyft since its $600 million funding round was announced just last week. Lyft has raised a known total of nearly $5 billion, according to Crunchbase. Its latest round brought its valuation up to $15.1 billion.
Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias