Chinese bike-sharing company ofo announced the completion of its series E2-1 round of financing led by e-commerce giant Alibaba, raising $866 million. Haofeng Group, Tianhe Capital, Ant Financial and Junli Capital also participated in the investment. As bike-sharing companies shift from large-scale growth to operational efficiency, this strategic financing set the highest funding record in the bike-sharing industry.
A parallel financing method involving both debt and equity investments was used in this round of funding. ofo will maintain its independent development under the support of a large number of investors.
Dai Wei, founder and CEO of ofo, said, “ofo is leading the bike-sharing industry from high-speed development to a new stage of high quality development. As the most experienced company in the bike-sharing field, ofo will always adhere to the principle of prioritizing users, and will continue to lead the development of the bike-sharing industry through innovative technologies and efficient operations and maintenance.”
Each of ofo’s previous rounds of financing have all been record-setting in the bike-sharing industry. According to the Shared Cycling Global Development Report, ofo is the world’s biggest and most valued bike-sharing company, expecting to have more than one billion potential users and rapid growth in the next two years. Upholding the mission of low-carbon emission for environmental protection, ofo not only changed the way short trips are taken, but also promoted the city’s intelligent development through the internet of things and the wide use of big-data technology.
Dai Wei is the founder and CEO of ofo. He holds a Master of Economics from Peking University. In 2009, he attended the Department of Finance, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. After graduating in 2013, he served as a volunteer teacher, led by the Central Committee of the Communist Young League, and taught math in Dongxia Town, Datong County, Qinghai Province for one year. In 2014, he returned to Peking University to study for his master’s degree. In 2014, he founded ofo bike-sharing with four partners.
ofo’s milestone events:
- In May of 2014, committed to solving campus travel problems, Peking University graduate Dai Wei and four partners founded ofo.
- In June 2015, ofo acquired 2,000 shared bicycles and began to operate on-campus at Peking University.
- In December 2015, ofo had over 5,000 shared bicycles covering five colleges and universities in Beijing, 100,000 We-Chat users, and had offered a cumulative 700,000 trips for teachers and students.
- In June 2016, ofo’s total bike-sharing usage volume exceeded 5 million reservations.
- In September 2016, ofo’s total rides exceeded 10 million, and daily rides exceeded 400,000.
- On Dec. 23, 2016, ofo issued an overseas strategy and launched trials in San Francisco and London.
- On Dec. 27, 2016, ofo entered Singapore market and sent the first batch of bicycles there.
- On Jan. 16, 2017, ofo released the first generation of intelligent locks.
- On Feb. 22, 2017, ofo announced that it reached a comprehensive cooperation with China Telecom and Huawei. The three sides will jointly develop a new generation of bicycle sharing based on NB-IoT.
- In March 2017, the number of ofo bicycles exceeded one million, with more than 20 million registered users. ofo provided more than 300 million rides for users in nearly 40 cities in China, the United States, Britain, and Singapore.
- On March 16, 2017, ofo announced a strategic partnership with Alipay Zhima Credit and launched a free-deposit service for users whose Zhima Credit exceeded a certain threshold.
- On April 27, 2017, ofo became available on Didi Chuxing, allowing Chinese Didi users to use ofo on the Didi app.
- Since August 2017, ofo has landed in Thailand, Malaysia, Seattle, Vienna, London, Sydney and other markets.
- In October 2017, the number of ofo daily reservations exceeded 32 million.