Date
21 August 2018
A picture shows Ofo bikes parked on a sidewalk in Shanghai. The Chinese bike-sharing startup has completed a new funding round led by Alibaba Group. Photo: Bloomberg
A picture shows Ofo bikes parked on a sidewalk in Shanghai. The Chinese bike-sharing startup has completed a new funding round led by Alibaba Group. Photo: Bloomberg

Bike-sharing startup Ofo raises US$866 mln in new financing

Chinese bike-sharing startup Ofo announced on Tuesday that it has raised US$866 million in a so-called E2-1 round, setting another new financing record in the bike-sharing industry.

The latest funding round, which includes equity and debt financing, was led by Alibaba Group. Participants included Ant Financial, a financial affiliate of Alibaba, as well as Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital and Junli Capital, according to TechCrunch.

Beijing-based Ofo, founded in April 2014, received series E financing led by Alibaba in July 2017, raising around US$700 million, setting a record for the largest amount raised in the bike-sharing industry.

Now the E2-1 financing has set a new record.

Ofo did not disclose the valuation that it enjoyed in the new funding. According to a CNBC report, the startup had been valued at more than US$2 billion prior to its July 2017 funding round.

Ofo currently has more than 10 million shared bikes in operation, with the business covering more than 250 cities, information posted posted on its website shows. It is the No.1 player in the industry in China and also has operations in several overseas markets.

The firm claims that it has about 200 million users globally who generate more than 32 million transactions daily on its platform.

In December last year, Ofo launched its service in Hong Kong, with the pilot location set in Tuen Mun. Its services now include districts such as Sheung Shui, Fanling, Tai Po and Tseung Kwan O, and even reaching Kowloon.

The startup has been eyeing aggressive overseas expansion. As of now, it has ventured into at least 21 countries, including the United Kingdom and Singapore.

In the US market, the company has suffered some roadblocks. Earlier this year, San Francisco authorities denied a permit to Ofo to join a dockless bike-sharing service pilot program in the city.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 14

Translation by Jonathan Chong with additional reporting

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal

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