Good morning, Term Sheet readers.
Here we go — Lyft has followed Uber into the bike-sharing wars. Both companies are attempting to diversify the kinds of transportation services they offer, and what better way to do so than to acquire smaller players?
Lyft bought the core operations of Motivate, the parent company of CitiBike in New York and FordGo Bike in San Francisco. The business, which will be renamed Lyft Bikes, will continue to operate independently. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it was previously reported that the price tag for Motivate was at least $250 million.
The move comes on the heels of Lyft’s massive $600 million fundraise, which values the company at at $15.1 billion post-money. The acquisition better positions Lyft to compete head on with Uber and its dockless e-bike service Jump Bikes as Motivate is currently the largest provider of bike-sharing services in the United States.
Car alternatives, such as electric bikes and scooters, have had explosive popularity in Europe and China. In China, for instance, there were more bike-share rides between 2013 and 2017 than there were rideshare rides in the U.S. during the same period. So rather than compete with some of these well-funded dockless bike and scooter market entrants, Uber and Lyft are scooping them up.
The questions still loom — who will control the new wave of dockless bike-sharing? Will we see a consolidation of the entire industry where Uber and Lyft purchase an electric scooter company next?
The thing to note here is that this is a pivotal point in the evolution of ride-hailing companies. The Uber/Jump and Lyft/Motivate pairings show that the tech behemoths are committed to becoming urban mobility companies rather than just taxi alternatives.
SECOND ACT: Remember Anthony Levandowski? The former Google engineer and serial entrepreneur who was at the center of a trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo has made a comeback. According to TechCrunch, Levandowski has returned with an autonomous trucking company called Kache.ai that is still in stealth mode. Read more.
CHANGE THE WORLD: We are taking nominations for Fortune’s 4th annual Change the World list—which highlights companies that do well by doing good—addressing pressing social problems as part of their core profit-making activity. To learn more about the list, and to nominate your company or a company you admire, visit our Change The World information page.
HOUSEKEEPING: As a reminder, Term Sheet won’t be in your inbox tomorrow because of the Fourth of July holiday. Have a great day, and see you on Thursday!
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