Uber is reportedly looking to acquire an electric scooter company.

The ride-hailing giant recently held acquisition talks with e-scooter startups Bird and Lime, according to sources who spoke to The Information. A deal for Bird, the larger of the two e-scooter companies, could carry a "multibillion-dollar" price tag, according to the report. Uber may even be looking to announce a deal before the end of the year.​

Uber already owns a minority stake in Lime, which has a valuation of $1.1 billion, and agreed to rent the company's e-scooters through its app. While Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden did not deny that talks have taken place, he did say his company is "not for sale," according to the report. Launched in 2017, Bird earned a $2 billion valuation in June, having raised about $415 million in venture capital.

Electric bikes and scooters have grown in popularity as an alternative form of transportation, resulting in multiple acquisitions this year. Lyft recently finalized its acquisition of bike-share company Motivate, while Uber acquired e-bike company Jump in April. Earlier this month, Ford acquired scooter startup Spin for a reported $40 million.

Published on: Dec 3, 2018