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Ofo becomes first bike-rental unicorn after US$ 450 million series D
Chinese bike-sharing firm Ofo announced today that it has secured US$ 450 million (around RMB 3.1 billion) in its Series D financing, a move that is heating up the already cut-throat competition in this nascent market, our sister site TechNode Chinese is reporting.
The round is led by Moscow-headquartered DST, and other investors in this round include Didi Chuxing, Coatue, Atomic, MatrixPartners China, and CITIC Private Equity Funds Management.
“Ofo is committed to becoming a leading company with worldwide impact. We will lead the whole industry towards a rapid and sound development, and provide convenient short-distance travel services for global users,” said Ofo founder and CEO Dai Wei.
The US$ 450m round is just part of its Series D funding; there will be follow-up financing to be announced in the future, Dai added.
Dai attributed Ofo’s success to the firm’s young team who understand the needs of Chinese youth as well as the rapid expansion strategy it pursues. Ofo aims to expand to 200 cities and cover tier-four cities this year.
Ofo may turn a profit by the end of this year, Dai revealed.
Ofo has registered 20 million users with the number of its yellow fleet bikes topping 1 million since June 2015. The bike-sharing startup has leaped to the top spot in the sector with a 51.2 percent share, followed by its arch-rival Mobike with a 40.1 percent share, according to public data released by third-party research firm BigData-Research (in Chinese).
Mobike has raised US$ 300 million in funding since this January, attracting investments from renowned investors such as Temasek, Hillhouse Capital Group, to name just a few.
Ofo and Mobike have waged an all-out war against each other in terms of funding and subsidization, trying to outdo each other. Although both are far from well-established and it is too early to tell who has the last laugh, it’s likely that the competition in this sector will become even fiercer as the market matures and more investors get involved.