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Photo by Christophe Archambault//AFP/Getty Images

Uber says its users will eventually be able to order an electric scooter, via a strategic partnership with Lime.

Why it matters: Uber wants to be a full-stack provider of local transportation, not just ride-hail, and this puts new pressure on rival Lyft.

Uber also is investing in Lime, as part of a $335 million financing round led by GV, the venture capital affiliate of Google parent Alphabet.

  • The parent company is also investing, so this makes for some interesting bedfellows. Uber was sued by Alphabet over alleged theft of self-driving technology, even though Uber also has money from GV. A different Alphabet investment arm, called CapitalG, subsequently invested in Lyft.
  • Other investors in the round, which was first reported by Axios, include IVP, Fidelity, Atomico and return backers Andreessen Horowitz, Coatue Management, Fifth Wall and GIC.

The question now is if this could be a prelude to Uber making an acquisition offer for Lime, which is being valued at around $1 billion.

Certainly it's possible, given that Uber earlier this year partnered with an e-bike company before buying it outright. But it's more likely that this is about blocking Lyft, which wants to get into scooters — both it and Uber applied for San Francisco licenses — but which also is unlikely to partner with the other big scooter player, Bird, because it's founder and CEO is a former Lyft employee who left on bad terms.

It's also worth noting that neither Uber nor Lime said when scooters will actually begin appearing on the Uber app.

Go deeper

30 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump revokes ethics order barring former aides from lobbying

Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty

Shortly after pardoning members of Congress and lobbyists convicted on corruption charges, President Trump revoked an executive order barring former officials from lobbying for five years after leaving his administration.

Why it matters: The order, which was signed eight days after he took office, was an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

  • But with less than 12 hours left in office, Trump has now removed those limitations on his own aides.

Trump pardons former fundraiser Elliott Broidy

President Trump has pardoned Elliott Broidy, a former top Republican fundraiser who pleaded guilty late last year to conspiring to violate foreign lobbying laws as part of a campaign to sway the administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests.

Why it matters: Broidy was a deputy finance chair for the Republican National Committee early in Trump’s presidency, and attempted to leverage his influence in the Trump administration on behalf of his clients. The president's decision to pardon Broidy represents one last favor for a prominent political ally.

Trump grants flurry of last-minute pardons

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

President Trump issued 73 pardons and commuted the sentences of 70 individuals, hours from leaving office early Wednesday, hours from leaving office.

Why it matters: It's a last-minute gift to some of the president's loyalists and an evident use of executive power with only hours left of his presidency. Axios reported in December that Trump planned to grant pardons to "every person who ever talked to me."