Uber invested in scooter and bike startup Lime’s much-anticipated $335 million financing round. The deal has several interesting twists. Most importantly, Uber will show Lime’s scooters in its app and brand the scooters with its logo, which could deliver more customers for both companies. This partnership strengthens the possibility of another Uber acquisition, as the ride-hailing made a similar move before buying e-bike startup Jump earlier this year. (Lime would be expensive though; it is valued at more than $1 billion.) The investment also aligns Uber again with frenemy Alphabet, which also invested in Lime this round and may be an even more important partner.
Plenty of questions remain. Lime has talked a lot about eventually investing in small, shared electric vehicles. Will that speed up with Uber’s investment? And will Lyft and Bird strike a similar partnership? It’s unlikely considering the two companies have a troubled history; while at Lyft several years ago, now-Bird CEO Travis VanderZanden tried to convince Lyft investors that he should run the company.