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Uber, Lyft And Top VCs Are Pouring Billions Into ‘Micromobility’—Here’s Why

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Nowadays, to Uber somewhere has pretty much become a verb in the English language. But less than 10 years ago, no one even knew what Uber was. And Uber is rumored to be worth $120B on the public markets, should they IPO in the near future.

This might be the reason investors are flocking to bike – and scooter-sharing startups in the so-called “micromobility space.” And at sky high, unicorn-level valuations.

What’s Micromobility?

Micromobility’s an industry tackling “last-mile transportation.” Or in other words, basically that sweet spot between too far to walk, but too short to Uber.

On the heels of the booming ride-sharing industry, new modes of transportations are shooting up. Right now, there are more than 20M dockless bikes in China, electric scooters in Silicon Valley and dockless e-bikes in DC.

Who are the players?

There are four players in the micromobility space: China-based bike-sharing platforms Ofo and Hellobike, and Bird Rides and Lime, US-based scooter-sharing services. Hellobike, Rides are Lime all attained unicorn status in 2018.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…

At least before they start to beat you. Which is what happened when the arrogant Blockbuster had the chance to own Netflix but instead laughed them out of the room. Or when Uber themselves ate market shares from an ancient, archaic taxi industry.

(On a very serious note, this competition has gotten ugly. NYC cab drivers have been killing themselves, all the while protesting Uber. Although, to be fair, Uber’s been striking deals with taxis in big metros like Moscow to offer their rides through the app.)

But it would appear the ride-sharing giants have taken lessons from these experiences.

In July, Lime just secured a whopping $335M in a Series C funding round led by Google, top VCs and Uber, ironically. Lime declined to reveal their valuation, but Bloomberg reported it at $1.1B. (#Unicorn status, baby.)

That deal in particular indicates the overall bullishness of the micromobility industry, particularly on behalf of the ride-hailing giants. Uber reportedly got in the Lime deal not just for the ROI, but also to start offering scooter rentals through the Uber app itself.

Lyft’s gettin’ it in, too

Lyft, on the other hand, went direct-to-consumer, bypassing a startup to just offering electric scooters directly. Just last month, Lyft rolled out its pilot project in Denver and have since rolled out in Santa Monica and Washington DC.

“Fili-bust a move around DC on a scooter,” Lyft says on their page. (How cute. DC, politics, filibustering? Get it? Ha. Ha.)

Scooter

 

Even though Lyft is getting (and becoming) the direct plug to customers, the Lime deal puts Uber ahead in this game. They’re currently the most downloaded transportation app in the US, by a wide margin at that.

For their part, Lyft says they’ll be working closely with the cities to help them roll out  in new markets—including monitoring the Denver rollout closely for any and all negative repercussions.

“This is a new thing,” Caroline Samponaro, head of bike, scooter, and pedestrian policy at Lyft, told The Verge. “They will raise a lot of questions. So we’re going to be very hands-on.”

Regulations? Lobbying?

But here’s where it gets tricky. Uber’s had a lot of issues in certain markets, mainly due to regulations. (Which is why being hands-on may be way to go.)

Uber was forced—or elected, depending on who you ask—to leave Denmark, after “failing to persuade the government to change the law on taxis to accommodate its business model,” CNN reported last year.

And there’s still a lot of lobbying to be done. Despite its massive market, micromobility still hasn’t made it to NYC yet. But that doesn’t seem to worry investors too much.

And let’s face it: before Uber was Uber, Uber had to figure out how to get Uber approved.

Here’s a chart of the investment landscape for bike and scooter unicorns.

 

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$137 Billion On The Line With Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos Divorce

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A year after becoming the richest person, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, is getting a divorce from his wife MacKenzie. The news broke in the below tweet from Jeff last Wednesday.

MacKenzie is said to have played a significant role in Amazon in the early years of the company. If the split goes as predicted, she will then become the richest woman in the world.

Investors will be comfortable once the divorce does not affect the growth and profitability of Amazon

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What Are Your Favorite Christmas Songs And How Much Money Do They Make?

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Christmas is the gift that keeps on giving for a select group of singers, songwriters and producers. An article in Forbes recently pegged U.S’s Christmas Music as the “Global King” compared to other genres of music like Pop.

So how much money are they talking? CNBC’s Tom Chitty explains.

 

 

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This Uber Killer Wants To Drive You Around In A Lambo…For £5

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Uber and Lyft broke the internet last week with the headline-grabbing news of their impending IPOs.

While all that was going on, another ride-hailing service called miwhip (“my whip” — get it?) came out of left field, announcing their desire to drive ride-hailers around in luxury sports cars like Lamborghinis, Ferraris, and whatever the hell else the heart desires.

But as usual, there’s a caveat…

Not going to call it a bait-and-switch, but here’s what Forbes wrote on their Instagram:

A new Uber rival in London, miwhip, lets you travel in gold supercars, and trips can cost as little as £5.

The ride-sharing app launched at the end of last month with an Austin Powers villain-worthy Lamborghini Aventador, Ferrari 488, Rolls Royce Ghost II, Mercedes G Wagon and McLaren 720s.

Within 48 hours of receiving the private hire operator license from Transport for London, miwhip spent over £1.5 million on supercars.

Miwhip takes 10% less commission than their competitors and offers daily cash outs as an homage to the five cofounders’ father, who was a mini-cab driver who worked to juggle work and family life.

 

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