ofo, the world first and largest station-free bike-sharing platform, announced a new $866 million round of funding led by Alibaba Group, with participation from Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital. The strategic financing presents the highest funding record in the bike-sharing industry and marks a new era for operational efficiency of the bike-sharing system.
As a precedent of asset mobilization in the bike-sharing industry, ofo uses a combination of debt and equity financing for this round. ofo will drive long-term success independently with the continuing support of leading investors.
Dai Wei, founder and CEO of ofo said: “As the global leader in the bike-sharing sector, ofo has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. ofo will continue to put our customers first and lead the bike-sharing industry with technological innovation and efficient operations.”
According to the recent industry report, ofo has already achieved dominant market place globally. The service improves the urban transport environment by reducing traffic congestion, saving energy and promoting better living. It is expected that the global number of shared bike users will increase to 1 billion in the next two years.
To date, ofo has operations in over 250 cities across 21 countries alongside widespread usage by over 200 million global users with more than 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides, totaling to 32 million rides per day.
In July 2017, ofo has completed Series E funding of US$700 million, becoming the world’s biggest and most valued bike-sharing company.
ofo has also partnered with the UN Development Programme to achieve the Global Sustainability Goals and launched a new partnership with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, in which ofo donated bicycles to girls living in Malawi in need of a safe way to get to school.
As part of the initiative, ofo will also donate the income on the 17th day of every month to celebrate the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
So far, ofo has entered 21 countries: China, Singapore, UK, US, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Thailand, Austria, Japan, Korea Russia, the Czech Republic, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, Spain, Portugal and Israel, Hungary, India and France.
ofo has started operation in more than 50 cities with more than 100,000 bikes outside China. The total number of rides has surpassed 10 million.
In India, Ofo launched its operations in December last year and in January this year tied up with Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to support the Pune Cycle Plan — a comprehensive bicycle master plan for integrated city-wide cycle tracks across Pune. Thereafter, in same month launched its pilot of bicycle sharing services in 7 cities i.e. Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai.
Bike-sharing has become a new hotbed in India as the market is already occupied by three local players — Ola with its Ola Pedals, Zoomcar and recently announced Yulu.
In October, Zoomcar has too launched its bicycle-rental service PEDL, while Ola just launched Ola Pedals on pilot basis. Meanwhile, InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta recently stepped down to launch its new venture which too is bicycle sharing startup Yulu.
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