Ofo Eyes Global Expansion After Raising More Than $700 Million

  • Latest funding round led by Alibaba, Hony Capital, Citic PE
  • Investment is the biggest round for a bike-sharing company

Chinese Bike-Rental Startup Ofo Eyes Global Expansion

Chinese bike-rental startup Ofo Inc. raised more than $700 million in its latest funding round to expand its business globally amid rising domestic competition with Beijing Mobike Technology Co. and more than a dozen rivals.

The series E round is led by billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Hony Capital and Citic Private Equity, according to an emailed statement sent by Ofo. The company’s earlier investors, car hailing platform Didi Chuxing and DST Global, also took part in the financing. The company declined to comment on valuation.

The round is the largest known financing by a bike-sharing company, overtaking a $600 million round by Mobike last month. The company had been seeking a valuation of about $3 billion in its latest funding round, people familiar with the matter have said.

Ofo is targeting an expansion to 20 million bikes in 20 countries by the end of this year. The three-year-old company said it already has 6.5 million bikes in 150 cities.

“We will further upgrade our service for better user experience,” Chief Executive Officer Dai Wei said in the statement.

For Gadfly’s take on the funding round, click here

Before the current round, Beijing-based Ofo had amassed at least $650 million in funding and obtained an estimated valuation of about $2 billion. Besides Didi and DST Global, notable investors of Ofo include Ant Financial and GSR.

China’s fledgling bike-sharing companies are raising cash at an unprecedented pace, underscoring growing investor interest in ride-sharing beyond an automobile market dominated by Didi.

Mobile is backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd, Sequoia Capital, Hillhouse Capital and Warburg Pincus.

— With assistance by Yuan Gao

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