Tech

Uber invests in scooter start-up Lime alongside rival Alphabet, will let you rent scooters through Uber app

Key Points
  • Uber will make Lime rentals available in the app and add its logo to the lime-green scooters.
  • It's the second scooter tie-up for Uber, which aims to be the leading one-stop shop for transportation.
  • A partnership and heavyweight endorsement could give Lime an edge in the burgeoning electric scooter space.
People use a smartphone to unlock LimeBike shared electric scooters on the Embarcadero in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Uber is partnering with electric scooter start-up Lime, the companies said Monday.

It's the second scooter tie-up for Uber, which aims to be the leading one-stop-shop for transportation. The ride-hailing firm in April bought Jump Bikes, which also offers scooter rentals. Uber will make Lime rentals available in the app and add its logo to the lime-green scooters.

Uber has increasingly turned to partnerships and mergers as it competes with Lyft, which last week announced it was buying the firm behind New York's Citi Bikes and San Francisco's GoBikes. CNBC reported last week Uber had also looked at buying Motivate, but walked away.

Uber also plans to invest in Lime in a round led by Alphabet's GV venture arm. The cooperation is ironic given that Uber and Alphabet's self-driving car group, Waymo, were locked in litigation over trade secrets earlier this year; that lawsuit was settled in February. Alphabet has signaled a heavy interest in transportation through a series of acquisitions and internal projects.

Uber VP Rachel Holt said, "Our investment and partnership in Lime is another step towards our vision of becoming a one stop shop for all your transportation needs. 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."

A partnership and heavyweight endorsement could give Lime an edge in the burgeoning electric scooter space. Lime and rival Bird have each reached unicorn status, topping valuations of $1 billion.

The news was first reported by Bloomberg.

—CNBC's Paayal Zaveri contributed to this report. 

VIDEO1:2101:21
We rented an electric bike from Uber and took it for a spin
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Key Points
  • An Uber-Motivate deal could have locked in a considerable bike-sharing advantage over Lyft for the ride-hailing pioneer.
  • Motivate operates docked bike-sharing programs in eight U.S. markets. Those partnerships could be in jeopardy under terms of an acquisition. 
  • Some Motivate workers are unionized, posing another problem for Uber.