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.