Bike-sharing firm ofo raises another US$866 million
Bike-sharing platform ofo said it has completed a new round of financing valued at US$866 million led by Alibaba Group, as the cash-tight company seeks ambitious expansion in its home country and overseas markets.
Other investors, including Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital, participated through a combination of debt and equity financing, the firm said in a statement.
The new round of funding turned out to be the highest so far, following a US$700 million round last July, which was backed by investors including Alibaba.
The company has been accelerating its expansion overseas, launching services in more than 50 cities in countries like the United States, Europe and Singapore.
The sharing economy boom has been sweeping across China, with related transaction volume jumped 47 percent from a year ago to 4.92 trillion yuan (US$781 billion) in 2017, according to the State Information Center.
The booming of non-docking public bike rental service also led to an oversupply of shared bicycles, and also created issues for urban management and transportation authorities.
The Ministry of Transport said last month there were a total of 77 shared bike operators in China and more than 20 went out of business last year.
Shanghai-headquartered Mobike and ofo are two leading players in the market.
Ofo and Mobike are gradually shifting their operation in recent months and started to charge riders on a monthly or quarterly basis instead of offering free riding coupons.