Uber will soon rent out scooters through its app

Uber is getting into the scooter rental business.

The ride-hailing company said Monday it is investing in Lime, a startup based in San Mateo, California.

“Our investment and partnership in Lime is another step towards our vision of becoming a one-stop shop for all your transportation needs,” Rachel Holt, an Uber vice president, said in a statement.

Uber will add Lime motorized scooters to the Uber mobile app, giving consumers another option for getting around cities, especially to and from public transit systems, Holt said.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Lime co-founders Toby Sun and Brad Bao wrote in a blog that Uber’s “sizable investment” is part of a $335 million fundraising round led by GV, the venture-capital arm of Google parent Alphabet Inc. They said Alphabet is among several new investors. The money will help Lime expand and develop new products.

According to the company website, customers can rent Lime scooters in more than 70 locations in the US and Europe and leave them parked for the next customer to ride. The company is looking to buy tens of thousands of motorized foot-pedal scooters to expand its reach.

The scooters aren’t without their critics, however, who consider them a nuisance and a hazard to pedestrians. Officials in cities like San Francisco have been torn between promoting cheap and relatively non-polluting transportation and keeping sidewalks safe and clear of clutter.

For Uber, the Lime investment follows its purchase for an undisclosed sum of Jump Bikes, which rents electric bicycles in a half-dozen cities including San Francisco, Chicago and Washington.

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