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Uber Invests In Lime In A Bid To Build A Transportation Superapp

Uber is jumping in with GV in an investment into scooter heavyweight Lime. The $335 million round will bring Lime’s aggregate funding to $467 million and its valuation to a reported $1.1 billion.

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Users will be able to rent Lime scooters from within the Uber app, and Uber’s branding will be added to all Lime scooters. The report also noted that Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, envisions Uber’s app becoming a hub of transportation services.

The funding announcement comes as the latest of many for the scooter sector. Lime’s main competitor, Bird, officially closed its $300 million round recently, pushing its valuation from just $300 million in March to $2 billion in June.

In total, across all leading platforms, including the much-less-mentioned Spin (with only $8 million in known funding), dockless electric scooter companies have raised nearly $900 million, as the following chart shows:

Its Lime investment isn’t the first time that Uber has reached into other transportation verticals. The company acquired Jump, an electric bicycle company, in June. And Lyft, Uber’s main U.S. competitor, purchased bikesharing startup Motivate in a deal announced last week.

Becoming a hub for transportation is not an uncommon approach If you follow companies in China. China’s ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing (which coincidentally beat Uber in China) and online-to-offline heavyweight Meituan-Dianping have similarly aimed to dominate all verticals within their respective industries. That vision of becoming a transportation superapp is, therefore, not unprecedented or too far out of reach.

Illustration Credit: Li Anne Dias

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