- Uber has done little to downplay reports it wants to buy electric scooter firms Bird or Lime.
- Speaking at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference, Uber exec Rachel Holt said the company is constantly approached by firms “wanting to partner with us, looking for acquisitions.”
- But Holt added that Uber is “really focused on building our own product right now” through Jump, the electric bike firm it acquired in April.
Uber has done little to downplay speculation that it is about to swoop for one of the fast-growing Silicon Valley electric scooter firms, Bird or Lime.
The Information and the Financial Times reported over the weekend that Uber has held talks with both companies, as it looks to expand its fleet of electric scooters.
Uber launched its own scooters in Santa Monica, California, two months ago through Jump, the electric bike company Uber acquired in April for a reported $US200 million.
Rachel Holt, Uber’s head of new mobility, was asked about a potential Bird or Lime deal by Business Insider’s deputy executive editor Cadie Thompson at the IGNITION conference in New York on Monday.
After initially saying that Uber would not comment on the speculation, she added that the ride-hailing firm’s interest in the space means that talk of acquisitions will be inevitable.
“Now that Uber is really, really devoted to being a major player in the micro-mobility space, we’re getting approached constantly by players on the global scene, wanting to partner with us, looking for acquisitions,” Holt said. “My guess is that those kind of rumours will continue and we’re still really focused on building our own product right now.”
Buying Bird or Lime won’t come cheap. Bird is valued at $US2 billion, while Lime is thought to be worth around half that. Bird’s CEO told the FT in a statement: “Bird is not for sale.” Lime did not comment directly on Uber reports.
You can watch the IGNITION interview with Uber’s Rachel Holt and Ryan Rzepecki, the founder of Jump Bikes, here: