Global bicycle sharing service Ofo is reportedly partnering digital payment major Paytm to bolster its operations in India. The dockless bike service soon will be available on Paytm app.
Citing sources Mint reported that Ofo will be available on Paytm from Monday. In November, the firm entered Indian market by launching in Chennai, Indore, and Ahmedabad. The Beijing-based company had confirmed its presence in aforementioned cities to Entrackr.
On Friday, last week, Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma hinted about the partnership through his Twitter handle:
— Vijay Shekhar (@vijayshekhar) January 12, 2018
Importantly, Alibaba is a common investor in both companies – Ofo and Paytm. The Noida-based company seems to be helping Ofo in gaining ground in the Indian market. Alibaba led $700 million in Ofo in July 2017.
Ofo has also started transporting bicycles to India in December last year.
The bike-sharing unicorn aims to democratize access to rental bikes by leveraging technology. Its bikes are tagged with GPS chips which enable them to be rented through a mobile app without needed to be stored in a central location.
The app allows users to track where its bicycles are parked as well as unlock and lock the two-wheelers. Users pay $1 an hour for the bicycles.
Valued at $2 billion, Alibaba and Didi Chuxing-backed company claimed to connect 10 million bicycles to over 100 million users across 14 countries, including the UK, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, US, among others.
Meanwhile, Ofo arch-rival Mobike is preparing to launch service in Gurgaon. The Tencent-backed company had signed an MoU with DLF Foundation to introduce service on Golf Course Road and is being jointly developed by both.
Bicycle rental services in India
Off late, the country has witnessed a rise in the launch of bicycle sharing services. In November last year, InMobi’s co-founder Amit Gupta started an IoT-enabled bicycle renting platform Yulu.
Self-drive car rental company Zoomcar launched PEDL, a cycle rental service, in Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata. Ride-hailing major Ola also started bicycle renting servile Ola Pedal across select locations in a few cities.
In December last year, LetzCycle, a Delhi-based startup started offering bicycle renting in Inderprastha Engineering college, Ghaziabad and IIIT-D, Okhla. Around the same time, Mobycy started a pilot in Chandigarh.