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Uber is reportedly considering another investment in Lime, in a round that would sink the embattled scooter startup's valuation by nearly 80% — and give Uber the option to buy it in 2 years

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  • Uber is reportedly considering leading a $170 million emergency fundraising round for the scooter startup Lime, according to the Information. 
  • The terms of the deal will hit the scooter startup hard. The round will reportedly slash Lime's valuation to $510 million, a 79% slide from the startup's whopping valuation of $2.4 billion in 2018. 
  • As a part of the deal, Uber will have the option of buying Lime between 2022 and 2024 at a specific price, the report said. 
  • But while the terms of the new proposed deal swing in favor of Uber, it's worth noting that the investment comes at a time when the ride-hailing giant has also been under severe pressure as the coronavirus outbreak has slammed its core business.
  • Both Uber and Lime did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Uber is reportedly in talks to lead an emergency fundraising round of $170 million in the scooter startup Lime, according to a new report by the Information's Cory Weinberg and Amir Efrati. 

The news comes as the coronavirus outbreak has decimated the startup's business. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines have deterred the startup's usual source of customers, forcing it to consider this emergency round as early as March. 

Uber, already an existing investor in the scooter-sharing startup, is said to be putting in $85 million of its own money to help Lime increase its runway. 

However, the terms of the deal will hit the scooter startup hard. The round will reportedly slash Lime's valuation to $510 million, a 79% slide from the startup's whopping valuation of $2.4 billion in 2018. 

The round also grants Uber the opportunity to buy Lime at a set price between 2022 and 2024, the report said. In return, Uber would "transfer" its existing bike and scooter-sharing business to Lime. 

Both Uber and Lime did not immediately respond to Business Insider's requests for comment. 

Uber last invested in Lime back in 2018, in a Series C round worth $335.1 million, according to Pitchbook data. The ride-hailing giant also doubled down on Lime in recent years, most notably through its acquisition of its rival Jump. 

But while the terms of the new proposed deal swing in favor of Uber, it's worth noting that the round comes at a time when the ride-hailing giant has also been under severe pressure as the coronavirus outbreak has slammed its core business. Uber has already revoked its previous financial guidance, and told its employees to expect layoffs that could cut up to 20% of the workforce

The full extent of the damage caused by the coronavirus to Uber's business this quarter should be apparent soon, when the company reports its earnings on May 7th. 

SEE ALSO: Startups are making nasal swabs, clinical testing booths, and fever detection systems to fight the pandemic. Here are the 11 coolest pivots in tech since the coronavirus outbreak

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