Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo raises $866 million led by Alibaba

A group of bikers riding ofo bicycles pass by Chang'an Avenue Beijing on Mar 10 2017

"Ofo will continue to put our customers first and lead the bike-sharing industry with technological innovation and efficient operations". Rumors circulate in Chinese media earlier this month that ofo has secured RMB 1.77 billion ($280 million) funding from Alibaba through chattel mortgage financing. ofo declined to comment on the relation between these two pieces of news. Ofo now has operations in 21 countries with over 200 million global users totalling to 32 million rides per day, the statement said.

Both Mobike and ofo are unicorns in the space and hold over 90 percent of bike-sharing market in China.

The consortium of investors was led by Alibaba, China's top online shopping conglomerate which also contributed to the US$700 million raised by Ofo in July 2017. Didi offers various bike-sharing services through its app from partners including Ofo, but that doesn't necessarily help them.

(Changing slug, headline & dateline) New Delhi, Mar 13 (UNI) Station-free bike-sharing platform, Ofo, announced a new $866 million round of funding led by Alibaba Group, with participation from Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital. "We have approved a new wave of bikes to be introduced to the city". More than 6,000 city residents signed up during the first few weeks of the scheme, with Ofo promising to introduce a further 300 bikes this month.

The development of ofo platform was inspired by the concept of sharing economy and facilitated by smart phone technology, aiming to tackle "the last mile" challenge in urban areas.

But in other European cities, local authorities are clamping down on unregulated bike-sharing schemes.

Apart from this, in September 2016, Chartered Speed, an Ahmedabad-based transport company, is believed to have entered into a partnership with Nextbike, a Germany-based bike-sharing startup, and is set to launch a digital bicycle sharing platform across 100 cities.

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