China’s third-largest bike-sharing startup Hellobike is raising ‘billions of yuan’ in a new funding round led by Alibaba’s Ant Financial, according to local reports. Ant Financial is currently Hellobike’s largest shareholder.
The new round is also expected to include Primavera Capital, a Chinese investment firm which previously backed mobility startups such as electric car manufacturer Xpeng and car trading platform Xouche. In November, The Information reported that SoftBank was also in talks to join the round.
According to Reuters, Hellobike was looking to raise $400 million at a valuation of over $2 billion.
Chinese bike-sharing startups have had a tough year due to cash crunch issues, stiff competition and an oversupply of bikes.
Alibaba-backed Ofo is contemplating bankruptcy just ten months after raising $866 million in fresh capital, while Tencent-backed Mobike was acquired by Meituan Dianping for $2.7 billion earlier this year.
Founded in 2016, Hellobike focuses on third and fourth-tier Chinese cities. It has over 200 million registered users across 300 cities and trails behind Ofo and Mobike in terms of the number of users. In September, Hellobike rebranded its Chinese name to HelloChuxing to expand into electric bikes, ride-hailing and carpooling.
Hellobike’s other investors include Chinese conglomerate Fosun Group and electric vehicle company WM Motor.