Lime e-scooters to launch Israel operations

Lime e-scooter Photo: PR

Lime already has shared transport operations in 70 North American cities and six Western European cities.

Six weeks after electric scooter sharing giant Bird announced its entry into Israel, its biggest rival Lime is also coming to the country.

Lime is looking for a general manager for its operations in Israel. In the job description published by the company, it says it is planning to embark upon large-scale activity in Israel as part of its worldwide expansion. The trend is a growing one: following shared electric bikes, electric scooters are already holding sway in many cities. Lime, which also offers electric bikes, already has operations in 70 North American cities and six Western European cities. 

It was recently reported that Lime had signed a cooperation agreement with taxicab company Uber, which took part in Lime's recent $335 million financing round, which raised the startup's value to $1.1 billion. This cooperation will include renting Lime's scooters through Uber's app (similar to Uber's electric bicycle venture in the framework of cooperation with JUMP Bikes).

Lime, founded 18 months ago in San Mateo, California, has raised $467 million to date, about the same amount raised by Bird, its Los Angeles-based competitor.

An Israeli player, Inokim, is competing against these two giants. Inokim offers a similar service of renting electric scooters in public areas and per-use payment.

Bird announced last August that it would begin a pilot at Tel Aviv University, followed by gradual expansion to other areas. Similar pilots have been conducted by shared bicycle rental companies entering campuses, such as Chinese company Ofo, which has since terminated its business in Israel.

Chinese shared bicycle company Mobike, on the other hand, is still growing. Mobike, operated by Car2Go, today announced the expansion of its deployment in Ramat Gan. Dozens of its gray-orange bicycles are already dispersed in Ramat Gan and many are appearing in Tel Aviv, although the company has not officially entered Tel Aviv, where the municipality-sponsored Tel-O-Fun operates.

Mobike's entry into Tel Aviv is via cooperation with business enterprises, such as Wix in Tel Aviv Port. Mobike, which began doing business in Israel in May, has registered 45,000 users for its service.

Similar to shared bicycles, use of both Bird and Lime's electric scooters is through an app that scans a code and through which the location of a scooter available for use can be found. In order to recharge the scooter, both Bird and Lime employ collectors who locate and charge up the scooters before leaving them at collection  points. The scooter collectors in Israel will be paid about NIS 30 per scooter.

Lime, initially called LimeBike, began with electric bike rentals and expanded to scooter rentals. It divides its rental products into two categories: Lime-E (bicycle rentals) and Lime-S (electric scooter rentals). In its ad for a CEO for the Israeli market, the company said its goal is to revolutionize mobility in cities and campuses through transportation that is more friendly to the environment and users in urban locations. The ad also said that the Israel CEO would be responsible for hiring a local team and business expansion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 16, 2018

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2018

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Lime e-scooter Photo: PR
Lime e-scooter Photo: PR
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