China’s bike sharing start-up Mobike raises $600 million led by Tencent

Mobike

Mobike, a China-based bike sharing platform, has raised a funding of $600 million led by Tencent Holdings, as first reported by the ET.

Besides Tencent, its existing investors such as Sequoia, TPG and Hillhouse Capital also provided financing in the latest round. New investors include investment banks BOCOM International Holdings, ICBC International Holdings and asset management firm Farallon Capital.

The report further added that it’s the biggest financing round in the startup as it is exploring the expansion plan in other parts of the world.

Launched in April 2016, the company has operations in around 100 Chinese cities and has raised over $900 million since October. It has also expanded to Singapore, and recently launched a pilot service for 1,000 bikes in the UK, starting in the cities of Manchester and Salford.

The startup plans to utilize the new financing round in developing Internet-of-Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence technology, the company said.

Mobike has 100 million users and supports roughly 25 million rides a day. Its app lets users scan QR codes on Mobike-branded bicycles, allowing them to unlock, use and pay for rentals on-demand. It has increasingly integrated features from Tencent’s ecosystem, including a tie-up with WeChat.

Its top competitor, ofo, raised $450 million in May from a range of investors including Chinese ride-sharing service Didi Chuxing.

Ridesharing (both cabs and bikes) is one of the fastest growing mobility innovations worldwide and has quickly become mainstream in many Chinese cities. Over the past five years, many ridesharing companies have entered the Chinese market.

Furthermore, faced with severe air pollution and traffic congestion, many large Chinese cities have taken action to stem the rising number of private cars.  In an effort to maintain urban mobility, ridesharing services have burst on the scene to help reduce the number of cars in Chinese cities and also meet the middle class’ increased need for personal mobility.

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