Ofo, the world’s first and largest station-free bike-sharing platform, on Tuesday announced a new $866-million round of funding led by Alibaba Group, with participation from Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital. The strategic financing presents the highest funding record in the bike-sharing industry and marks a new era for operational efficiency of the bike-sharing system. Founded in 2014, Ofo is operated via an online mobile application. Since its entry into the Indian market early this year, Ofo’s dockless bicycles have been changing the concept of urban mobility in Indian cities. Presenting a green, convenient and affordable riding experience, Ofo has been launching a series of pilot projects in select gated communities, educational campuses, IT campuses and public parks across seven cities including Chennai, Pune, Indore, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Delhi. Recently Ofo crossed a major milestone by rolling out city-level services in Coimbatore — the first time in the country. As a precedent of asset mobilisation in the bike-sharing industry, Ofo uses a combination of debt and equity financing for this round. Ofo will drive long-term success independently with the continuing support of leading investors.
Ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei said: “As the global leader in the bike-sharing sector, Ofo has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development. Ofo will continue to put our customers first and lead the bike-sharing industry with technological innovation and efficient operations.” According to a recent industry report, Ofo has already achieved dominant market place globally. The service improves the urban transport environment by reducing traffic congestion, saving energy and promoting better living. It is expected that the global number of shared bike users will increase to 1 billion in the next two years. To date, Ofo has operations in over 250 cities across 21 countries alongside widespread usage by over 200 million global users with more than 6 billion efficient, convenient and green rides, totalling 32 million rides per day.
When contacted, Rajarshi Sahai, director of public policy & communications, Ofo India, said: “The recent round of funding shows the confidence that our investors have for the Ofo technology, propelling Ofo forward to being the largest globally-funded bike-sharing operator. The E2-1 funding of $866 million will allow Ofo to expand our services to more cities globally and within India itself.” “We are committed to providing more quality bikes with superior technology to Indians at affordable rates and help bridge the last mile connectivity gap in their daily commute. By having more bikes on the streets, we believe more Indians will be able to overcome daily traffic congestions and enjoy a healthier and cleaner mode of transportation to their destination,” he added.