Start-ups

Bike-sharing major Mobike lands US$600 million of new funding to push global expansion

Mobike says it operates a total of more than five million bikes and its daily orders have already exceeded 20 million. Now it’s looking to go global

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 June, 2017, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 June, 2017, 11:55am

Mobike, the Chinese bike-sharing major backed by internet giant Tencent Holdings, has raised a further US$600 million in new funding to bankroll the globalisation of its “Uber-for-bikes” service.

The Beijing-based company said on Friday it had completed “the largest ever financing round in the bike-sharing industry globally” led by existing investor Tencent and joined by Sequoia China, TPG, and Hillhouse Capital, among others.

Our new target is to be in 200 cities by the end of the year
Davis Wang, CEO, co-founder, Mobike

New investors in this round include leading banks Bocom International, ICBC International, and global institutional asset management firm Farallon Capital.

Mobike says it operates a total of more than five million bikes and its daily orders have already exceeded 20 million.

With the newly secured war chest, it has now set three clear targets for the coming months with an acceleration of its global expansion the top of its priority.

“Our new target is to be in 200 cities by the end of the year,” said Davis Wang, CEO and co-founder of the business.

Launched only in April last year in Shanghai, Mobike expanded to 100 cities in the first six months of this year alone. In terms of overseas expansion, it already offers services in Singapore and Britain.

Bike-sharing is nothing new across the world, but the rising use of smartphone payments in China particularly has seen the sector take off. Users can now borrow and return bikes wherever they like, with no more than a few swipes of their phone.

According to Wang, the company will also increase investment in R&D of its internet of things network and new technologies, including artificial intelligence and intelligent hardware, as it seeks to boost its competitive edge over rivals, and improve its user experience globally.

Bicycle-rental app Mobike draws investment from Temasek Holdings

The new US$600 million comes just four months after Mobike’s last round in February, and is likely to bring the company’s total funding in 2017 to more than US$900 million.

The company, however, is locked in a fundraising battle with main rival Ofo as they lead a pack of more than 30 Chinese bike-sharing companies, all vying to use mobile technology to revolutionise the way urban dwellers commute in China.

“It is important to keep pumping money into bike-sharing businesses to boost scale – the larger the scale, the higher the efficiency will be,” said Zhou Liang, managing director at China Renaissance, the exclusive financial adviser to Mobike, was quoted as saying in an interview to mainland media.

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