Ofo Rode Out of Madrid, Available in Only Three European Cities in the Future
The bike-sharing company ofo announced it pulled its business out from the Madrid region in Spain, according to Chinese media. This comes after their recent withdrawal from Australia and Germany.
SEE ALSO: Ofo to Lay Off 70% of U.S. Workforce and Shut Down Operations in Multiple U.S. Cities
According to sources, ofo will only operate in three European cities in the future. The exit from the area comes less than one year from ofo’s landing in Madrid.
Des Ibman Sur, ofo’s head of operations in Spain, said that he had seen dozens of small yellow bikes having damaged seat, rear lights falling off, or some whole bikes thrown into the river.
“Indeed, we initially attributed it to vandalism.” he said, “But we are more willing to focus on positive aspects: we attracted 100,000 users, counted 200,000 cycling records, and prevented 180 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.”
After the withdrawal from Madrid, observers are curious about ofo’s strategy for overseas markets. According to sources, due to strategic considerations, the company will only operate in three European cities: Paris, Milan and London.
At the same time, ofo continues to maintain its dominance in the Chinese domestic market through releasing half-year passes and giving ride subsidies. A few weeks ago, its long-established rival Mobike announced the total deposit-free rides nationwide.
Apart from ofo’s European and Australian retreats, the company conducted massive layoffs and shut down some offices in the U.S. .
Those changes in ofo’s operations and financing are not surprising to some watchers. Bike-sharing platforms such as ofo and Mobike have exited from some markets that they have entered originally as a trial.
However, the series of withdrawals also reflects on the strategic aggression of bike-sharing companies in the past, as well as possible funding problems at the moment.