Contxto – While some mobility startups are retreating, others are raising their bets. And this time around it’s Uber who’s making the moves on Latin America.
Despite its setbacks and unexpected twists in Colombia, Uber is still fighting the good fight as the company recently unleashed its electric scooters in São Paulo. And in Chile its electric bikes have debuted for the first time in the region.
Related article: In Brazil, Grow isn’t growing—it’s retreating and making layoffs
Are electric scooters still a thing?
As you may recall, micro-mobility in Latam, particularly electric scooters were experiencing some serious speed bumps.
For those of you who are blessed with Dory from Finding Nemo‘s memory, it’s recap time:
- Early January 2020, San Francisco’s Lime withdrew from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as five other cities throughout Latin America.
- Late January 2020, Grow withdrew its e-scooters from 14 cities in Brazil. It was also putting its Yellow bikes on hiatus to reportedly give them some maintenance. There were also employee layoffs.
- March 2020, Grow’s e-scooters will no longer be hosted on Rappi’s app.
In a nutshell, it appears e-scooters just aren’t profitable/attractive as one might have initially thought in Latam.
Despite this, Uber is stepping further into Brazil and, as of last Monday (2), users can now unlock e-scooters in São Paulo where it will be competing with Grow.
It must be pointed out that in terms of micro-mobility, this isn’t Uber’s maiden voyage into the largest market of the region. Its e-scooters were also already in the Brazilian city of Santos.
Will Uber prove more successful in turning a profit?
Related article: E-scooter startup Lime retreats in Latam, a warning sign for Grow?
Uber bikes in Chile
Meanwhile, in the Las Condes area of Santiago, Uber’s fleet of red/orange electric bicycles, Jump were available as of mid-February.
To find them, users need only access Uber’s app. To rent one, a person will be paying CLP$150 (less than US$1) per minute driven.
And if it proves successful, it may expand into other parts of the capital.
Related articles: Tech and startups from Chile!