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

Photo: Hellobike website

Chinese bicycle-sharing firm Hellobike said on Monday it raised $350 million in its latest funding round from investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Ant Financial, confounding recent signs of strain in the nascent industry.

The Shanghai-based firm is among a slew of companies that have launched a wave of brightly coloured shared bicycles on to China’s city streets over the past year. However, the sector now faces a shake-out with the third-largest firm announcing last month that it would cease operations.

The latest funding round is the fourth for the one-year old company which merged with Youon Ditan, an affiliate of Changzhou Youon Public Bicycle System Co Ltd, in October in the industry’s first merger. A Hellobike spokesman declined to comment on the firm’s current valuation.

Other investors in the latest funding round included Chinese carmaker WM Motor Technology Co Ltd and venture capital firm Chengwei Capital, Hellobike said.

The company has focused on third- and fourth-tier Chinese cities and said it now has 80 million users.

“The success of this funding round is due to the market’s recognition of Hellobike’s business development potential amid a shake-up in China’s bike-sharing industry,” Hellobike said in a statement.

China’s bike sharing craze has been driven by huge investments, especially into the two market leaders, Ofo and Mobike, which have raised billions of dollars from tech giants including Alibaba and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The pair are often regarded as China’s “Uber for bikes”, in reference to car-sharing firm Uber Technologies Inc. They have deployed millions of bicycles around the country and pushed overseas into markets such as the United States and Europe.

Also Read:

China: Bicycle-rental firm Youon merges with rival Hellobike

Reuters

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.