Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Cities Uber/Lyft

No Longer a Gimmick, Electric Scooters and Bikes Face Scrutiny

Uber’s agreement last week to acquire Jump, an electric bike-sharing service, brought new legitimacy to a business that had been viewed by some as a novelty. But the high-profile deal also has exposed concerns about whether motorized bikes and scooters can live up to heightened expectations. Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, who is still a board member, privately has told people the deal, at upward of $200 million in cash and stock, was too expensive for what Uber got in return, according to people familiar with his thinking.

He wasn’t alone in scrutinizing the emergence of the sector, which jolted into public view after other bike and scooter startups raised significant funding and angered city officials after launching in San Francisco without permission. The e-bike and e-scooter rollout has happened so quickly that tech companies and investors are scrambling to evaluate the companies’ potential. Some startups are likely to add to their war chests: LimeBike, which operates bike and scooter fleets, is preparing for another fundraising round that could value it at $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter.

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Cities Uber/Lyft

Bird Lays Off Dozens of Employees

By Cory Weinberg

Cities Uber/Lyft Travel

‘Flying Over Traffic’: Short-Hop Services Multiply

By Cory Weinberg

Autonomous Vehicles Google Uber/Lyft

With Waymo Robotaxis, Customer Satisfaction Is Far From Guaranteed

By Amir Efrati

Uber/Lyft Markets

Take Me Out to the Tech IPO

By Cory Weinberg

The sudden arrival of the bikes and scooters on city streets and sidewalks has left policy makers unsure of whether or how to regulate the companies.