Chinese bike-sharing start-up Ofo said it has secured USD 866 million in a new round of financing led by Alibaba, a move that should stave off calls for it to merge with Tencent-backed rival Mobike.
This new round is so far the biggest in China’s ruthlessly competitive bike-sharing sector. Last July Ofo received E round financing of USD 700 million led by Alibaba, while Mobike’s latest round was USD 600 million in a Series E round led by Tencent Holdings last June.
The latest financing makes Alibaba a major shareholder in Ofo. Before this round, Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing was Ofo’s biggest investor. In January, Didi took over Bluegogo, which was at the time the third-largest bike sharing company in China.
Analysts said the new financing of Ofo would postpone its long-rumoured merger with Mobike, which has a valuation of USD 1.5 billion.
Mobike is reportedly seeking a new round of financing from Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Meituan. Due to fierce price wars designed to gain market share, neither of the two bike sharing companies have been able to turn a profit.