China’s bicycle-sharing platform Mobike appears closer to foray into Indian Market. The app-based bicycle sharing platform now owned by Meituan-Dianping is expected to start its services by next few weeks from Pune.
This will be the second Chinese firm entering into bicycle sharing space in India. Earlier, Alibaba-backed Ofo had launched its services in cities including Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Indore.
Ofo also claimed to have completed 1.1 million rides within four months of operations in India.
According to an ET report, the firm is in advanced discussions with authorities in various cities including Nagpur, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune, and Ahmedabad, among others, to launch the service.
In fact, Mobike reportedly initiated its launch in India in December last year when media reports claimed that the company would kick off from Gurugram with a fleet of 5000 bicycles.
The proposed launch might have been delayed due to company’s buyout talks with Meituan-Dianping who recently acquired the bicycle sharing app in a whopping $2.7 billion deal. Importantly, this will also initiate the rivalry between Alibaba and Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping in bicycle sharing space in India, who already have been engaged in foodtech battle in the country.
According to Mobike India CEO Vibhor Jain, the company will explore last mile connectivity, especially in metros. It is also in discussions with corporate parks and educational institutes in the country for introducing its platform.
Initially, these bicycles will be imported but the company will explore local manufacturing after achieving a certain scale of operations. However, there is no clarity as far as investments and number of bikes to be launched are concerned.
With nine million bicycles on its platform, Mobike operates in about 200 cities in 16 countries including the US, the UK, Israel, Germany, France, South Korea and Chile. Mobike app lets users scan QR codes on Mobike-branded bicycles, allowing them to unlock, use and pay for rentals on-demand.
The company claims to amass over 200 million registered users and it has increasingly integrated features from Tencent’s ecosystem, including a tie-up with WeChat.
In June last year, the bike sharing platform raised $600 million in funding led by Tencent Holdings.
Besides Ofo, Mobike will race against the local player who recently forayed into similar space such as Ola’s Pedal, Zoomcar’s PEDL, Yulu and several others.