Mobike, a smart bike-sharing company in China, announced today that it has closed US$215 million in Series D financing round led by strategic investors, Chinese internet giant Tencent and leading Private Equity firm Warburg Pincus.
New strategic investors in this round include China’s largest travel company Ctrip, global leading private equity firm TPG, and China’s leading hotel operator Huazhu Hotels Group.
A number of existing investors including Sequoia China and Hillhouse Capital have also participated.
Mobike will work with these companies in China’s transport and travel sectors to unlock new growth opportunities and enable more travellers to get around cities more easily.
Mobike is one of the largest smart bike-sharing companies in the world. Using specially designed bikes equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, Mobike enables users of its smartphone app to find a bike near them and unlock it using their smartphones. After reaching their destination, the user parks the bike by the roadside and locks it, automatically making the bike available to other Mobike users nearby.
Payment is automatically calculated and deducted from the user’s Mobike account.
The company officially launched its service in Shanghai in April 2016 and in just nine months it has expanded the service to nine cities across China –Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Ningbo, Foshan, Xiamen, and Wuhan.
In October this year, the company announced that it would be test trialling its bike-sharing service in Singapore.
Mobike Co-founder and CEO Davis Wang said: “Our mission is to bring more bikes to more cities, using our innovative technology to make cycling the most convenient and environmentally-friendly transportation choice for urban travellers. Mobike has the most sophisticated smart bike-sharing technology globally, and we look forward to bringing bikes to more cities around the world in the months ahead as we ramp up our expansion into more cities in China and internationally.”
Tencent participates as a lead investor in this round following its previous investment in Mobike’s series C+ round, announced in October 2016. According to Pony Ma, Chairman and CEO of Tencent, “Mobike has an excellent leadership team and the leading technology in their industry. We hope that by combining this with Tencent’s deep understanding of user behaviour in China, we will create unique value for our users in their daily transportation.”
Frank Z. Wei, Co-Head at Warburg Pincus China, said: “In terms of its resources, product and platform, and operational ability, Mobike is already far ahead of other players in the bike-sharing market. Its rapid expansion into more cities over the last few months has clearly demonstrated the fundamental strength and scalability of Mobike’s model. With its strong financial position and enormous addressable market, we are very excited about Mobike’s potential for growth.”