Didi Rumored to Purchase Bluegogo, Create Shared Bike Brand
36 Kr reported that Didi will complete the acquisition of Bluegogo in the near future, and that it has already signed the purchase agreement. In addition, Didi, which invested Ofo, is trying to create its own shared bicycle system.
Didi did not respond to a request for comment, but insiders close to the deal told Sina that Didi does have plans to create its shared bikes.
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Conflict Between Didi and Ofo
To date, Ofo has conducted at least eight rounds of financing, and Didi has participated in four rounds of financing. In April, Ofo became accessible through the Didi App, but the conflict between the two worsened.
In November, media reported that three executives Didi assigned to Ofo had “started their holiday.” An insider close to Ofo’s executive team told Sina he wasn’t sure whether the “holiday” news was true or not because he saw market leader Nan Shan in Ofo’s office. However, executives belonging to Didi recently rejected many decisions made by Dai Wei, the founder and CEO of Ofo, involving new businesses and acquisitions. It shows there is a split among board members.
Ofo also tried to distance itself from Didi. After Didi executives entered Ofo, the company’s PR director Shi Shaochen said it had nothing to do with Didi. That Fu Qiang worked for Didi was just a coincidence, he said, rejecting the idea Didi could influence its management.
Didi’s conflict with Ofo may be a sign that Didi will create its own bike sharing system. A Didi insider confirmed that Didi has such an intention.
Fate of Bluegogo
There were numerous rumors about Bluegogo’s capital. In June, Bluegogo sought a merger or investment from with Mobike and another listed company. Both failed. Subsequent crises occurred in October. At that time, there was news that Youon would purchase Bluegogo and had given Bluegogo 10 million yuan to solve its funding shortage. In the end, Youon bought Hello Bike.
In November, Bluegogo CEO Li Gang issued an internal letter that Bluegogo reached a strategic cooperation with Biker. Biker was authorized to operate Bluegogo. Users who deposited money in Bluegogo could continue to use it for free. Also, Bluegogo would work with Biker to put more Bluegogo shared bikes in the market.
But when Sina Technology contacted Biker, it replied that Biker hadn’t received information about operating Bluegogo. Even if it were to cooperate with Bluegogo, Biker would only be responsible for offline vehicle operations and maintenance. Users need to contact the Bluegogo for deposit refunds and other expenses. The deal is more about strategic co-operation than acquisitions.