Alibaba among investors as Chinese bike sharing startup Ofo raises $700 million in fresh funds

 The Chinese motorcycle start OFO focused on global expansion, saying Thursday it has raised more than $ 700 million in a round of financing that includes the Alibaba Jack Ma Group.

The funding round was led by Alibaba, Hony Capital and CITIC Private Equity, with the additional participation of existing investors Didi ChuXing and DST Global.

“We will continue to improve our service to improve the user experience, accelerate our global expansion strategy and continue to lead the bicycle industry,” said Dai Wei, founder and CEO of Ofo, in a prepared statement.

“Our vision is to unlock everyone and make Oph the universal language.”

OFO declined to disclose the evaluation for the current cycle of financing, but Dai told CNBC in April, the company was worth more than $ 2 billion.

Bicycle industry Chinese distribution was starting to warm up, with new companies such as Oike rival Mobike Technology Beijing and others to improve urban mobility in the country and promote a more environmentally friendly transportation.

The concept of bicycle exchange is quite simple: people use a smart phone application to unlock a bicycle nearby and reach their final destination at a small price, surpassing blocked traffic in many Chinese cities.

Investors saw the potential of the market and have contributed large amounts of money in the segment. Prior to Thursday’s new funding, Ofo said it had collected over $ 650 million.

Last month, Mobike said it had raised more than $ 600 million in a round of financing led by Internet giant Tencent Holdings and that Sequoia, TPG and Hillhouse capital are among others.

At the end of the year, Ofo said it was considering deploying 20 million bicycles in the bicycle-sharing ecosystem and expanding its services to 200 cities in 20 countries around the world. The company added that it currently has more than 6.5 million bicycles in 150 cities.

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