Uber has made big moves in the transportation space recently, adding bike-sharing and e-scooters to its platform. Uber’s Rachel Holt, who runs these “new modalities” talked to CNBC about Uber’s future strategy in the space.
“We see ourselves as being a lot more than just rides. We really want to be a one stop, a single app for enabling you to get around your city in the most efficient and effective way for you,” Holt, Uber’s VP and head of new modalities, told CNBC.
As part of that effort, Uber invested in e-scooter company Lime last week and will soon offer co-branded Lime scooters on its app. This comes after it bought Jump Bikes in April. Holt said Uber is continuing to expand Jump’s footprint around the U.S. and globally. Uber’s global ride-sharing service is now in more than 60 countries.
She said these acquisitions and partnerships are to position Uber towards that ultimate vision, and they’ll continue to look at other partnerships and acquisitions.
“In all of these spaces were going to continue to invest, in some areas invest in our own options for getting around, as well as partner, as well as looking at other acquisitions like we did with Jump,” Holt said.
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi’s previously said that he wants Uber to be the “A-to-B platform for transportation”
She said the e-scooter space in particular is “evolving quickly” and Uber wants to be part of it, which will be “a combination of our own products and partner products.” Uber currently has only said they will offer Lime scooters, but it is one of 12 companies that has applied for a permit from the City of San Francisco transportation authority to put e-scooters on the streets. Five of those will ultimately be granted a permit.
Uber’s not the only one looking to dominate the on demand transportation space. Rival Lyft recently announced it was buying Motivate, the largest bikeshare firm in the U.S., which operates New York's Citi Bikes and San Francisco's GoBike, among other cities. This gives Lyft access to 30,000 bikes in eight U.S. cities. CNBC previously reported that Uber looked at buying Motivate, but walked away.
Both companies have also looked at ways to integrate public transit into their apps. However, Uber’s valuation at $60 billion is still four times Lyft’s valuation, at $15.1 billion.
Holt said she thinks the innovation in this space is happening "incredibly fast. So I think what you’re going to see is more and more different ways of getting around your city."