Author: OurCrowd

Why Uber Bought JUMP

When Uber bought a small electric bike company in April 2018, it came as a shock to many. What was behind the acquisition of JUMP Mobility Technologies, an OurCrowd portfolio company? What did it suggest about how innovative companies could stay on the cutting edge of business models and technologies? A disruptive innovation gives new consumers at the bottom of a market access to a product or service historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or skill. These innovators figure out how to compete asymmetrically with market leaders, ultimately overturning — or disrupting — the status quo. New technologies, new business models, social trends or government policy may catalyze this process. This is exactly what happened in JUMP’s case. Municipalities granted existing bike-sharing vendors in cities like New York, San Francisco and Portland near-monopolies and they naturally grew complacent. These vendors essentially used pre-iPhone technology. Manual bikes needed to be picked up and returned to bulky, and often inconvenient, docking stations. Consumers grumbled about the mobile interface, pricing and the need to return the bike to...

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