Ofo raised new fund more US$700 million led by Alibaba

Tinuku ~ Ofo raised a new fund of more than US$700 million led by Alibaba. Beijing-based bike-sharer gets new funding from Alibaba, Hony Capital and Citic Private Equity. China's tech giant Alibaba Group strengthens the legs through a bike share startup which is expected to face Mobike's Tencent-driven competition at home.

Tinuku Ofo raised new fund more US$700 million led by Alibaba

Ofo on Thursday announced it has brought in more than US$700 million worth of new funds led by Alibaba Group, Hony Capital and Citic Private Equity. Previous investors include Didi Chuxing and DST Global.

Alibaba directly funded a bike-sharing venture that has a very fast development as one of the investment markets in China and the commuting habits of millions of Chinese people. Previously Ant Financial as Alibaba's internet financial branch has invested in Ofo.

Investing in a bike-sharing service will provide other benefits to investors in form of data on consumer transport behavior to complement other online and offline data. Alibaba's participation strengthens the competition between Ofo and Hongkong-based Mobike backed by Tencent for US$600 million in previous month.

Ofo only takes three years to have 6.5 million bikes in 150 cities in China. Ofo CEO Dai Wei said they will improve services for the user experience and target to expand up to 20 million bikes in 20 countries by the end of this year.

While Alibaba looks forward to continuing to collaborate with Ofo into a huge ecosystem of online shopping, digital payments, video marketing and viewing. So did Tencent through Mobike reinforce popular social applications WeChat as the spearhead of their business.

"Ofo is an industry leader and we support our open platform strategy We look forward to working with the Ofo team to unlock the full potential of bike-sharing industry," said Joe Tsai, executive vice president of Alibaba Group.

A June report showed Ofo led the bike race with 65 percent of the total market share in China while Mobike came in second with 35 percent.