Ant-backed bike-sharing firm Hello TransTech files confidentially for IPO

HelloBike bicycles stand parked on a sidewalk in Shanghai, China, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Chinese bike-sharing giant Hello TransTech has confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter, joining a wave of technology firms seeking to take advantage of surging valuations to sell shares.

Hello TransTech, backed by Ant Group Co., has started gauging investor demand recently after submitting its filing in the U.S., the people said, asking to not be identified discussing private information. The startup is working with China International Capital Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley for the listing, according to the people.

The company has yet to decide the size and valuation of the IPO, though IFR has reported that it was examining plans to raise as much as $1 billion. Hello TransTech didn’t immediately comment, while CICC, Credit Suisse and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

Previously known as HelloBike, the Shanghai-based startup is one of the few firms to survive China’s bike-sharing bubble, which had attracted billions of dollars in investment at its height before going bust. While one-time rivals such as Ofo have retreated from the industry after incurring huge losses, Hello TransTech has transformed itself into a one-stop transportation solution provider, offering everything from smart locks to artificial intelligence-enabled traffic planning and car-pooling.

Founded in 2016, Hello TransTech is valued at $5 billion, according to CB Insights, and counts Primavera Capital Group, Fosun International Ltd. and GGV Capital among its backers. The startup has more than 400 million registered users and its bikes can be found in more than 400 cities across China as of October, according to its website.

It faces fierce competition in bike-sharing from larger rivals like Didi Chuxing Technology Co. and Meituan, which took over Mobike in 2018 and has struggled to turn a profit in the business. More recently, the companies have been expanding into electric bicycles, a growing segment of the market. There were more than 6 million shared e-bikes across China as of November, according to BloombergNEF.

Hello TransTech’s potential debut comes amid increasing scrutiny by Chinese regulators over the so-called sharing economy. In December, the Ministry of Transport summoned ride-hailing operators including Hello TransTech over illegal car-sharing services and safety risks.

Bloomberg

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.