Ant Financial backs $321m round in Hellobike as another Chinese unicorn emerges

Photo: Hellobike website

China’s bike-sharing firm Hellobike has raised RMB2.06 billion ($321 million) in its latest funding round from Alibaba Holding Ltd’s Ant Financial, giving the startup a valuation of $1.47 billion, creating yet another unicorn in China.

According to a security filing by Hellobike-owner Youon Bike, Ant Financial is now the largest shareholder with a 36 per cent stake in its arm, Youon Low Carbon Technology. Meanwhile, Youon Bike has reduced its stake from 10.29 per cent to 8.86 per cent.

In October last year, Youon Low Carbon Technology had acquired a 100 per cent stake in Shanghai Junzheng Network Technology, the operator of Hellobike.

“Upon the completion of this capital infusion, the capital strength and competitive edge of Youon Low Carbon Technology will be strengthened. However, the intense competition in the bike-sharing industry will continue for a long period of time and the business might experience uncertainties,” Youon Bike said in its filing.

China Money Network had reported that Hellobike had raised $700 million from Ant Financial and Fosun Group as well as seven new investors in April 2018. However, this was not verified by either of the parties.

In December 2017, two months after the Hellobike-Youon Bike merger, Ant Financial and other investors had injected $350 million in Hellobike.

Founded in September 2016, Hellobike operates in over 180 cities, providing 5 million bikes to 10 million registered users. Its largest competitors are Ofo and Mobike, both of whom have raised billions of dollars from Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Also Read:

China’s Hellobike raises $350m in latest funding round backed by Ant Financial

Ant Financial said to raise fundraising target to over $12b

Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo raises $866m in Alibaba-led round

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.

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.