Chinese smart scooter maker Niu files for $150 million IPO

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Smart scooter maker Niu filed a preliminary prospectus on Nasdaq Global Market seeking a $150 million IPO. Niu (小牛)—which considers itself an IoT and big data company—has shipped its app-powered electric scooters to more than 20 countries. The company is hoping to expand production and boost its R&D, according to the prospectus filed September 24.

“We can confirm that we publicly filed a registration statement on Form F-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Due to regulations in place, we’re unable to comment further,” a spokesperson told TechNode.

In June, the company was rumored to be considering an IPO of $300 million. The company did not yet disclose the pricing or the number of its shares. Credit Suisse and Citigroup are the two principal underwriters of Niu’s IPO, while the sub-underwriter is Needham & Company.

While Mobike and ofo are competing to cover the last mile, Niu has set its eyes on covering the last 6 kilometers. Although the country has plenty of low-end e-bikes and e-scooters, Niu is hoping to offer a smart transportation solution for China’s middle class in cities that have increasingly little space for cars.

Niu’s app which connects users with their scooters now has 457,000 registered users. With onboard GPS and other sensors and processors, Niu collects data about every aspect of the bike: from location and velocity to battery levels and health.

“Before Niu, every e-scooter company uses different suppliers for the batteries, motor, controller, dashboard, different parts,” co-founder of Niu Token Hu told TechNode in a previous interview. “There’s no operating system. We want to make the whole system communicate with each other and communicate with our cloud services. Every time you change a piece, our servers will know.”

This company is changing how China moves

Another co-founder of Niu was Huawei’s youngest vice president and Baidu CTO Li Yinan who started the company in 2014. In June 2015, only two days after the first Niu scooter was launched, Li was arrested for insider trading. After serving his sentence, Li was released in March 2018 and has since become a partner at Plum Ventures. He has resigned from its role at Niu.

The company launched its last product in Paris in June. At the launch, Niu’s CEO Liu Yan announced that, after three years of development, the company has become the world’s largest and most popular two-wheeled smart electric vehicle company with 500 + sales outlets in China, stores in 150 cities, and 650+ outlets overseas in more than 20 countries.

The company made RMB 769.4 billion ($116.3 million) in 2017 with gross profit in pf RMB 54.7 million ($8.3 million). During the first six months of 2018, Niu’s revenues reached 557.1 million yuan ($84.2 million) while gross profit was RMB 79.9 million ($12.1 million). Nasdaq’s site was down for maintenance at the time of publication. These numbers were taken from second-hand sources. We will update if necessary once Nasdaq’s site is back up.