Qingju, the bike-sharing unit of Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, has raised $600 million in its Series B round of financing and is set to raise another $400 million in loans, DealStreetAsia has learnt.
The development was first reported by 36Kr, the Chinese-language media platform of Nasdaq-listed 36Kr Holdings, that cited sources privy to the information.
When contacted, a Didi spokesperson said: “DiDi Bike (Qingju) has recently completed a Series B fundraising round. With the new investment, we will continue to improve mid- and short-distance travel in cities by providing efficient, safe and reliable bike-sharing services to the users. We will also work with industry partners to further explore a sustainable future of bike-sharing.”
Names of investors in the Series B round and providers of the loans could not be ascertained. The spokesperson did not divulge details of the new financing round.
The Series B round follows Qingju’s initial funding round in April 2020. This nascent bike-sharing business had concluded $1 billion in its maiden funding round, US news outlet The Information had reported, citing unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the deal. The previous investment consisted of $850 million from Didi itself and $150 million from venture capital firm Legend Capital and SoftBank.
Qingju, which started operations in 2018, is now one of the three major players competing toe-to-toe against Hellobike and Meituan Bike for a larger share in China’s bike-sharing market. The market is estimated to have 569 million users, according to market researcher iiMedia Research.
Shanghai-based Hellobike, backed by Alibaba’s fintech spin-out Ant Group, recorded operations in over 460 cities in China as of October 2020. Meituan Bike was originally Mobike before being acquired by food delivery giant Meituan for $2.7 billion in April 2018 and later rebranded in 2019.
Didi has registered nearly 600 million users and driver partners, as well as 13,000 corporate employees as of 2020-end.