Seeing a future beyond cars, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi recently said he wanted Uber to be “the Amazon of mobility.”
To that end, Khosrowshahi tapped Rachel Holt to oversee Uber’s new modalities unit, which includes the company’s initiatives around hourly car rentals, bikes, scooters, public-transportation integration, and more.
This summer, Uber invested in the e-scooter company Lime, joining a $US335 million funding round led by Google Ventures and committing to make scooters available through its app.
Now that Lime and its top competitor, Bird, have each raised nearly half a billion dollars, the scooter wars are heating up and a long list of scooter upstarts are vying for supremacy in key markets worldwide.
As Uber begins to shift from a car-centric strategy to helping consumers travel that last mile in the most reliable, affordable, and convenient way possible – while simultaneously putting a dent in the traffic gridlock that plagues cities like New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles – Holt is working closely with Ryan Rzepecki, the founder of Jump Bikes, which Uber acquired in April for a reported $US200 million.
Rzepecki founded Jump in 2008 while working at the New York City Department of Transportation. He struggled for nearly a decade to get funding until dockless bike sharing exploded in China in 2016 and investors took note.
“In the span of two or three months, suddenly everyone was interested,” Rzepecki said. “It was very validating that something I cared about was proven right.”
So whether we’re talking about on-demand scooters and bikes, flying taxis or self-driving cars, we’re charting the future of transportation at IGNITION 2018.
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