Exclusive: Lime sets eyes on future US IPO, but timeline still unclear
US electric bike and scooter company Lime continues to have its eyes set on becoming a public listed company, but London looks set to miss out on the float.
“We are always working to be in a position in which we would be ready,” Lime’s president Joe Kraus told City A.M. during an exclusive interview. “But we don’t control the timing and availability of the markets.
“It’s not up to us in terms of when the market would be ready and receptive to any company going public, Lime or otherwise,” he added.
Kraus said the company would likely list in the US.
Over the last five years since its foundation, the San-Francisco-headquartered company has become a global player in the e-bike and e-scooter market, operating in almost 200 cities around the world.
London, Kraus said, has seen the highest growth in users in Europe, as the number of e-bike rides has gone up 2.5 times year-on-year to almost 6 million.
“My view is that London is becoming the best cycling town globally,” he said.
“That is what we have seen in our data and it’s due to a combination of a [pandemic-induced] surge in demand coupled with an increased supply of bike lanes,” Kraus said.
According to Lime’s data, e-bike and scooter rides increased significantly throughout the three-day rail strike, which brought the capital to a standstill.
Figures revealed that Lime saw the highest number of trips per week between 20 and 27 June.
The total number of rides rose by 77 per cent in London after Lime rolled out its new fleet of e-bikes last month.
“Customers vote with their feet and strongly prefer these new vehicles, riding them a lot more,” he added.
Kraus said that having its production chain in-house has allowed Lime to focus on constantly innovating its vehicles, unlike e-bike competitors Human Forest and Santander Cycles.
“We make our own vehicles [while] everybody else buys from Chinese manufacturers off-the-shelf bikes,” Kraus explained.
The president said that, looking ahead, the sector will continue to expand.
“I do believe wholeheartedly that, if we were to all fall asleep for 10 years and wake up, we would see more alternatives to cars inside of cities, and fewer cars in city centres than you see today,” he concluded.