The Singaporean bike-sharing startup oBike announced today it has launched in Malaysia’s Klang Valley (which is anchored by Kuala Lumpur) to bring station-less biking to the area.
oBike’s timetable for entering Malaysia was fast — the company just launched in January in Singapore. Furthermore, it is in the midst of a bike-sharing battle with Chinese giants Mobike and ofo in the Lion City.
One major difference between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore is traffic congestion (with Kuala Lumpur typically having worse traffic). oBike is positioning itself as an option for short distances that is “a more intelligent, convenient, and greener solution for both inter and intra city movement”.
“We developed oBike to provide a sustainable, convenient short-distance transportation solution that will save people time and energy while avoiding traffic jams in Klang Valley,” said Ng Yong Ching, Business Launcher of oBike.
“By having more people switch over to oBikes, we’ll be effectively contributing to the development of a car-lite and environmentally-conscious city.”
oBike will have first-mover advantage in Malaysia as neither Mobike nor ofo have launched in the country.
In Singapore, the company has distributed tens of thousands of bikes across the city and claims it already has “several tens of thousands” of riders using the app. As pointed out by e27 earlier this week, bike-sharing has already become a noticeable part of the city in the few months since launching the service.
Like other bike-sharing companies, oBike requires a one-time deposit fee. In this case the amount is MYR109 (US$25).
After the deposit is paid, the app shows the user where free bikes are around the city. They simply need to scan the QR Code and the number to unlock the bike will be revealed.
The biker, when done, parks the bike in a public location; locking it up makes the ride available for someone else.
For people who need help finding hotspots for bikes, oBike Malaysia’s Facebook page will update fans.
oBike says it is the top downloaded iOS app in Singapore and is third on Google Play within the city.