Uber Stokes Domestic Bikesharing Hype With JUMP Acquisition

Morning Report: Uber buys JUMP, a bikesharing startup after the startup was rumored to weigh a sale or a new round of capital.

On the heels of the massive $2.7 billion Mobike deal, another bikesharing company found a new home this week. JUMP, a New York-based company that provides dockless bikes on-demand to people on the go, has been purchased by Uber, a global delivery and transit company.

JUMP raised just $11.6 million over its life before the deal, according to Crunchbase.

Underscoring how hot the transit-sharing world is today, TechCrunch’s Megan Rose Dickey noted in her piece on the deal today that the value of the acquisition was “closer to $200 million” than the roughly $100 million that her publication had noted before.

Holy hell. $200 million for a small bikesharing company is a lot, even if it was (we presume) an if-not-all-then-a-high-majority-stock transaction. And the dollar value is even more surprising given that we presume that JUMP was not valued on a multiple of revenue, or even expected revenue.

Scooters, Though

However, there is more context to wrap around the deal than just the Mobike transaction. On the domestic front, both Bird and LimeBike have raised large sums of capital to deploy electric scooters around American cities.

The scooters are controversial (you can find complaints on social media, city-focused subreddits, and other similar locations), and seemingly popular. On the way to the gym this weekend (it didn’t go well) I had to wait for three youths to go by on two LimeBike scooters and one Bird. And that took a minute as the scoots don’t precisely rocket up hills.

Regardless, if wheeled-transit startups were hot before, and they were, this recent spate of M&A should be akin to lighter fluid and matches. It’s going to get even hotter.

From The Crunchbase Daily:

Funding and exits rise in Q1 for US and Canadian Startups

  • Investment in U.S. and Canadian startups rose across all venture stages in the first quarter, and large exits also ticked up. Crunchbase projects that venture investors put $28.7 billion to work across all stages, the highest total in five quarters. Seed stage round counts were also up, following a sharp contraction the prior quarter.

Global exit outlook improves

  • Globally, Q1 of 2018 was a pretty good quarter for exits too. Acquisition volume was basically flat relative to Q1 2017 and slightly up relative to the prior quarter. IPOs also gained momentum.

China’s SenseTime raises $600M for AI

  • SenseTime, developer of an AI-based deep learning supercomputing platform, has raised $600 million in a Series C round led by Alibaba and joined by Temasek and Suning. The round brings total funding for the Beijing-based company to more than $1 billion.

Jurvetson starts new VC firm

  • Six months after leaving DFJ, the venture firm he co-founded in the 1980s, Steve Jurvetson is starting a new VC fund. Called Future Ventures, the San Francisco firm will focus on a range of technology applications, including commercial space exploration, quantum computing, robotics, AI, blockchain, synthetic biology, and clean meat.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias