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Power bank rental startups say they are not worried about competition
After a period of silence, the power bank rental industry has brought more financing news. On July 27, power bank rental startup Enmonster announced a Series A of RMB 1 million, Chinese media Sina Tech is reporting. However, more competitors don’t seem to be a problem for these companies. AnkerBox, Laidian, and Xiaodian have already staked their claims and now have the biggest shares of the market (in Chinese).
Powered by over 20 investment institutions, these companies are ensuring that new competitors have a hard time entering. Funding amount for more than 10 shared power bank rental startups, including Shenzhen-based AnkerBox (街电), Shenzhen-based Laidian (来电), Xiaodian (小电), HIdian (HI电), Mobo Power (魔宝电源) amounted to more than RMB 300 million ($43 million) this year.
The problem with these power bank rental business is that it doesn’t assure high returns. At a recent panel of sharing economy at RISE in Hong Kong, investors of sharing bikes were also unsure about power charger businesses. However, AnkerBox, Laidian, and Xiaodian say that they are not so much concerned about heating up power bank business.
“Competition in the industry is only a small part of it. Most of the companies are doing win-win cooperation,” Xiaodian’s representative Fang Shulong said at power bank rental conference held on July 28th. “The power bank industry cannot be done by one or two companies because we need to build up consumers habits to use the power bank, and all together, we need to form an economy of scale.”
Ankerbox, on the other hand, is now working to enhance the user experience by introducing foldable power banks and providing fast charging as well as MFi certification for Apple users.
“Ankerbox is mainly focusing on spreading out in the market so that users can find a power bank around 500 meters within their location,” Ankerbox vice president He Shun said.
Laidian, the first player to enter the power bank rental industry, also said power bank itself is only a part of what they are trying to do.
“What we want to do is not only providing battery charging services but a complete set of solutions. We hope to cover the needs of the offline business merchants, and connect them with the users.” Laidian’s COO Huang said.