China’s Didi Chuxing to take over struggling bike-sharing startup Ofo: Report

Ofo Inc. and Beijing Mobike Technology Co. bicycles sit parked on a sidewalk outside a subway station in Shanghai, China, on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2017. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Chinese bike-sharing startup Ofo is close to being acquired by its investor and ride-hailing major Didi Chuxing, according to a report by Kr36.

However, the two parties are yet to agree on a price, the report added.

Didi Chuxing founder Cheng Wei has reportedly mentioned a $1.5-billion price tag — almost half of the $2.7 billion Meituan Dianping paid for Ofo rival Mobike — while Ofo founder Dai Wei is angling for a higher price.

The report added that DiDi is lowering the price it is willing to pay with every round of negotiation. Both Ofo and Didi Chuxing declined to comment for the report. Alibaba’s fintech unit, Ant Financial, was also said to be in talks to acquire Ofo, but it was willing to shell out a lower price than DiDi.

Earlier this month, Ofo started winding down its overseas operations. It has pulled out of India, Australia, Israel and other markets to focus more on the domestic market. It is also pulling out of the US after entering the market less than a year ago.

Ofo, however, says it plans to retain its operations in London, Paris and Milan as well as Singapore. It is in the midst of applying for a bike-share operating licence to operate in Singapore.

In April, it was also rumoured to be in talks to take over rival GoBee but a deal never materialised.

If the deal with DiDi goes through, this will be the second bike-sharing company acquired by the ride-hailing major after Bluegogo this January.

Several bike-sharing startups such as Coolqi and Mingbike collapsed last year due to fierce competition, while Shanghai-listed Changzhou Youon Public Bicycle System merged with Hellobike to jointly face other competitors.

Founded in 2014, Ofo has raised $2.2 billion so far, from investors including internet giant Alibaba and Sequoia Capital.

Also read:

More Asian bike-sharing startups forced to pedal out of markets

Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo mulls takeover of GoBee’s HK operations: Report

 

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.