Bike-sharing firm ofo raises over US$700m in latest funding round

Bike rental startup ofo announces $700 m series E funding led by Alibaba

According to a June report from analytics firm 7Park Data, Ofo is leading the bike race with 65 per cent of total market share in China with Mobike in second spot with 35 per cent.

As the latest private bike-sharing app in Singapore, it has already racked up an impressive 30,000 users.

Mobike users can unlock its bicycles by scanning a QR code on it.

The LTA eventually cancelled the tender, because Mobike competitors Ofo and Obike had already entered the market and distributed thousands of bikes for use around the island.

It's nearly as though Ofo and Mobike are working from the exact same blueprint. Why do they keep insisting they're part of the sharing economy?

In addition to this, Mobike has more than 300 Mobike Preferred Locations, which are clearly marked parking zones at shopping malls and schools.

Prices increase for users who do not return the bikes to the appropriate places, and users can be banned if they continually abuse the system, he said.

When Mobike launched in Singapore 100 days ago, the firm was meeting "significant pent up demand" for a convenient and green transport option that addressed pollution and congestion in the city, Bohnert said.

"Both companies practically give away their product for free to beat competition and build market share and so while Ofo now leads in China, the competition is fierce and market share will change", said Brian Chaitoff, Director of Insights, 7Park Data.

These new features include three-speed gears which make riding on slopes easier, adjustable seats to cater to users of different heights and solar-powered headlights instead of battery-operated ones. Solar energy is also used to power the lock.

Meanwhile, down in Shanghai, Mobike has also been turbocharging its warchest.

But this is the first time that Alibaba itself has directly funded a bike-sharing venture - fast becoming one of China's red-hottest investment market which is quickly changed the commuting habits of millions of Chinese. "The idea is to start focusing now on what's going to happen three years from now", he said.

Operating more than 6.5 million bikes, ofo said it has over 100 million users and has supported more than 2 billion rides since its debut in 2015.

So far, ofo has connected over 6.5 million bikes to riders in 150 cities across five countries, generating more than 25 million transactions daily.

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