China News Startups

On-demand bike rental startup Mobike raises $600 million to expand worldwide

mobike

Mobike, one of the fastest growing on-demand bike rental service provider, has raised $600 million in its new funding round, led by Tencent Holdings Ltd. This marks the company’s biggest financing round to date as it plans to expand its business worldwide.

Along with Tencent, Sequoia, TPG and Hillhouse Capital have also participated in this latest funding round. New investors in this round include investment banks BOCOM International Holdings Co Ltd, ICBC International Holdings Ltd and asset management firm Farallon Capital.

With this latest funding coming to the startup, the total amount raised by the company since October now stands at around $900 million. Mobike CEO Davis Wang said:

We will accelerate the pace of global expansion, and our new target is to be in 200 cities by the end of this year.

The financing round will also be used to fund the company’s investments in Internet-of-Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to support the brand.

It is currently present in 100 cities — the company’s target for this year. While most of those cities are in China, the company has expanded to Singapore and has recently launched a pilot service for 1,000 bikes in the UK, starting in the cities of Manchester and Salford.

Mobike claims to have 100 million users and supports roughly 25 million rides a day. Launched in April 2016, it has increasingly integrated features from Tencent’s ecosystem, including a tie-up with Wechat, and payments platform with over 900 million users.

It utilizes a dockless bike-share system and enables users to look for a bike nearby them using their smartphone app. The bikes are equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, allowing users to unlock them via smartphones. The rider can then park the bike by the roadside once they reach their destination and lock it. This makes the bike available to other app users in its vicinity.

Prior to this funding round, Mobike had raised over $300 million earlier this year alone from investors such as Tencent, Temasek, Foxconn, and others. With the current round, the total investment raised by the company is now over $925 million.

The close rival to Mobike is Ofo, a Beijing-based startup which is backed by Didi Chuxing, DST Global, Matrix China, and Alibaba among other investors. It too has global ambitions and has raised a massive amount of funding. Earlier this year, Ofo entered the ‘unicorn’ club when it announced $450 million Series D funding round.

He has been a technology writer since more than five years. At The Tech Portal, he covers gadgets, startups and the good and bad of tech.

Email: jeet@thetechportal.in


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