Ofo bike sharing goes on world-wide expansion spree
LEADING Chinese bike-sharing start-up ofo announced yesterday that it has raised more than $700 million (R9.3 billion) in its latest round of funding, the largest so far for the rapidly growing industry. Major investors include Alibaba, Hony Capital, Citic Private Equity Funds Management, Didi Chuxing, and DST Investment Management, Beijing-based ofo said.
The company’s founder and chief executive, Dai Wei, said ofo will improve its customer experience and accelerate expansion both in China and abroad to make ofo a worldwide brand.
Founded in 2015, ofo shot to success with its innovative business model providing non-docking public bikes. Users can find a bike parked in the street, unlock it using a code via their mobile phone, and park it anywhere after use.
The company said it now has 6.5 million shared bikes in 150 cities across five countries and regions, handling an average 25 million rides a day. It aims to expand that to 20 million bikes in 200 cities across 20 countries and regions by the end of 2017.
China’s bike sharing market has become a red-hot investment opportunity.
Within around two years, more than 20 million shared bikes have appeared on streets across the country, operated by more than 40 companies. – Xinhua