As China’s bike-sharing war escalates, leading players in the industry are busy to stocking up on funds to in preparation for a stiffening battle. Mobike announced today that it has closed its 215 million USD series D, led by Tencent and Warburg Pincus, a leading private equity firm.

New strategic investors in this round include China’s largest travel company Ctrip, global leading private equity firm TPG, and China’s leading hotel operator Huazhu Hotels Group. A number of existing investors including Sequoia China and Hillhouse Capital also participated.

Mobike will work with these leading companies in China’s transport and travel sectors to unlock new growth opportunities and enable more travelers to get around cities more easily, the company added.

This round follows a 100 million USD Series C in September and an undisclosed Series C+ in October last year. Tencent participated as a lead investor in this round following its previous investment in Mobike’s series C+ round.

Mobike began trial operations in Shanghai at the end of 2015 and officially launched in Shanghai in April 2016. It now operates in nine cities across China.

Ofo, arch-rival of Mobike, released a statement shortly after Mobike’s funding announcement, saying:

bike-sharing

Image credit: Zhang Xiangdong

“The bike-sharing industry has never lacked funds or attention. However, what we really need are companies with profitable and sustainable business models.”

Driven by a gold rush mentality, Chinese internet startups have a tendency to flock into the hottest fields after they’ve gotten enough attention. Like the latest rushes to ride-hailing and live-streaming, we now see a similar phenomenon with bike-sharing. A recent screenshot circulated on Chinese social networks showing that there are more than twenty bike-sharing apps on the market now. With such a huge number of players in the vertical, one thing is clear: another transportation war has already started.

Image credit: Mobike