Fifteen shareholders of bicycle-rental startup Hello TransTech have withdrawn from the company, according to Chinese business research platform Tianyancha.com.
The Ant Finance-backed company’s registered capital was reduced by nearly RMB 992 million (around $147.6 million) to RMB 43 million, according to the platform. The changes were disclosed on Wednesday.
Hello TransTech did not respond to TechNode’s request for comment.
It’s possible that the company is optimizing its equity structure to prepare for a new round of financing, Chen Chengzheng, a corporate lawyer at Fujian Newstone Law Firm, told TechNode.
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the company planned to raise at least $500 million in funding. The company raised nearly RMB 4 billion from Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and Primavera Capital Group in September 2018, valuing the company at $2.5 billion. Co-founder Li Kaizhu said in January that the company would seek a future IPO without specifying a time-frame.
The company rebranded itself as Hello TransTech from Hellobike in September to expand its services to a wider variety of transportation businesses. The company launched its carpooling service nationwide in January after its main rival Didi Chuxing suspended a similar service following the two murders of female passengers by their Didi Chuxing drivers.