Lime is teaming up with Uber to let you rent electric scooters through the ridesharing giant's app. Uber is also investing in Lime as part of a $335 million funding round led by Google parent company Alphabet's venture capital arm GV that takes Lime into unicorn territory with a $1.1 billion valuation. The company will use the investment to buy tens of thousands more scooters.
Along with renting through the app, Lime will cobrand the scooters with Uber; basically, you'll see Uber stickers on them now. Uber carried out a similar strategy with Jump's electric bicycles before buying that company earlier this year.
The partnership underlines how serious Uber is about scooters. It recently applied for a permit to start its own service in San Francisco, and it still might go ahead with its own scooter business despite this investment, Uber vice-president Rachel Holt told Bloomberg.
Lime's dockless scooters are now available in more than 70 markets across the US and Europe, and Lime's extensive availability is what drew Uber's attention. "Lime already has an expansive footprint, and we're excited to incorporate their scooters into the Uber app so consumers have another fast, affordable option to get around their city, especially to and from public transit," Holt told Engadget in a statement.
Uber's not the only ridesharing company looking beyond cars to help people get around. Lyft last week bought Motivate, the firm behind CitiBike, and is rebranding the bike-sharing business as Lyft Bikes.