Lime was launched in the United Kingdom today, and started with a group of portable electric bikes in a Milton Keynes shopping mall. The San Francisco-based start-up says it plans to expand to more UK cities in the next few weeks.
In other markets, users find and lock users in Milton Keynes Lime’s bikes that use battery-powered engines to reduce tramping and travel further distances, via a mobile app. Bike tours cost £ 1 (about $ 1.28) to unlock and another 15 pence per minute riding time and will be available only at Into Milton Keynes Shopping Center.
Backed by investors like Uber, GV and Andreessen Horowitz with $ 467 million In the financing so far, Lime said it had hit a mile of 1
1.5 million riders, only 14 months after the bicycles were first made available to riders. The company is already active in 100 markets through the United States and Europe and plans to launch in 50 new cities by the end of the year.
But Lime’s rapid growth has not come without bumps. Lime, along with competitors Bird and Spin, was one of the companies involved in San Francisco’s war against electric scooters when they ran out of the city’s municipal transport agency (SFMTA). SFMTA said that e-scooters created barriers and possible security risks. This eventually resulted in Lime being denied an e-scooter license in August, a decision that was appealed.
By choosing Milton Keynes as its first British city, however, Lime’s intention to prevent conflicts by working with a city more susceptible to transport starts. Milton Keynes was the site of an initiative called MK: Smart to integrate more Things of Things hardware. The project was followed by CityLABS, a program that supports data and IoT startups. In his statement, Lime said that “will work closely with city leaders and stakeholders to ensure fair and respectful distribution of service across the area.”