With today’s US$450 million injection, China’s top two bike-sharing apps have raised a total of US$920 million in disclosed funding from investors.
Ofo today announced the biggest ever funding round in this space – US$450 million – to help it fend off arch-rival Mobike as both push their pushbikes into cities across the globe. This investment makes Ofo the first bike-sharing “unicorn” – worth more than a billion dollars, reports Bloomberg.
There are no bike docking stations, which has resulted in thefts.
Ofo has more than 20 million users in nearly 40 cities in China, the US, Singapore, and the UK.
Mobike, which kicks off its first foray outside China with a Singapore launch later this month, has about 10 million users.
The bruising battle is being fought over a service that costs just a few cents. In China, the apps charge around US$0.07 to $0.14 for a 30-minute ride. Each startup buys its own bikes – meaning it’s basically bike-renting, not really bike-sharing.
There are no docking stations, so bikes can be left anywhere. But that has resulted in thefts, vandalism, and thoughtless users parking the bicycles in inaccessible places – like inside their offices or apartment buildings.
Ofo’s series D round is courtesy of Citic Private Equity, Matrix Partners, Coatue Management, Atomico, and Macrolink Group. China’s ride-hailing giant Didi is a previous investor.