Mobike said to have raised $1b after failed merger talks with rival Ofo

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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

Bike-sharing startup Mobike has stuffed its coffers with additional funds that it can use to further gain control of the booming bike-sharing sector, after talks of a merger with key rival Ofo were abandoned.

A Caixin Global report said the dockless Shanghai-headquartered bike-sharing company secured close to $1 billion in its latest fundraising round from still unidentified investors, further raising Mobike’s valuation, which has been skyrocketing.

The latest funding round was closed just a few months after Mobike co-founder and CEO Davis Wang and Ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei downplayed rumours of a possible merger, which would have created the world’s biggest bike-sharing company.

Mobike and Ofo have been in a fierce struggle to gain control of the booming bike-sharing sector. Launched in Shanghai in April 2016, Mobike now operates in more than 170 cities around the world including China, the UK, Japan, Italy, Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.

Mobike claims to have over 100 million registered users and 7 million bikes around the world and growing.

Beijing-based Ofo, on the other hand, operates over 10 million yellow-coloured bicycles in 250 cities and 20 countries as of last year. It also claims to have over 62.7 million monthly active users.

Big names in venture capital and private equity, including Sequoia Capital and Hillhouse Capital, have reportedly invested over $2 billion into the two rival firms.

The competition, however, further heats up with the entry of new bike-sharing companies that are also reportedly cornering huge amount of investments.

A report from Technode said another Chinese bike rental firm, Hellobike, wants to grab a share of the bike-sharing sector with a possible $1 billion worth of round from heavyweight investors Ant Financial and Fosun Capital.

Hellobike claims to operate in 160 cities, with nearly 100 million users and 10 million daily orders.

The company and the supposed investors, however, have not officially issued a statement regarding the $1 billion funding round.

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