Ant Financial joins bike-sharing startup Hellobike’s USD 350M Series D for market expansion in smaller cities, & more

Bike-sharing startup Hellobike receives USD 350M for Series D from AntFinancial & others

Hellobike

Founder: Yang Lei

Founded in: 2016

Financing status: RMB 2.3 billion (USD 350 million) for Series D financing in 2017

Bike-sharing startup, Hellobike, received USD 350 million for Series D from AntFinancial and others on December 4 for market expansion.

We have reported on some bike sharing giants in our Tech Financing column before, such as ofo, Hellobike, Mobike and so on, which have gotten the favor of capital to expand their business in China and even in other countries. Because some bike sharing startups failed and quit the bike sharing industry, the surviving companies have banded together to capture the market. AllTechAsia recently reported that Hellobike merged with its rival, Youon, which was backed by Ant Financial in October. This Series D financing round is the first financing round since the merger. The new company, under the lead of Hellobike’s CEO, Yanglei, continues to expand in the bike-sharing industry. By the end of November 2017, Hellobike gained a total of over 80 million registered users.

Hellobike was founded in 2016 in Shanghai. Its bike-sharing services cover hundreds of cities in China, such as Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, and Xiamen. Unlike ofo and some other bike-sharing startups that compete for a market share in China’s first-tier cities, Hellobike prefers placing its bikes in second- and third-tier cities, and achieving the upperhand in these cities. The company claims to start its campaign in fourth-tier cities in China, and improve its user experience in unlocking its bikes via smartphones, as well as the riding experience.

This Series D financing round was from a group of investors, including Ant Financial, Chengwei Capital, FujiTec, Weltmeister, and others. Weltmeister also participated in Hellobike’s Series B financing round, which is an electric vehicle manufacturer in China that provides consumers with a convenient and vastly improved mobility experience. FujiTec is the largest bike manufacturer in Asia, which is also Hellobike’s bike manufacture. The capital will be used to place more bikes in new cities, especially in third and fourth-tier cities in China, and vastly improve users’ experience by further investing in the research and development of its bike-sharing products and services.

Photo from iponycar.com

Car sharing platform PonyCar receives USD 38M for Series C

PonyCar

Founder: Liu Yixun

Founded in: 2016

Financing status: RMB 250 million (USD 38 million) for Series C financing in 2017

Car sharing platform, PonyCar, received USD 38 million for Series C on December 3 to expand to car trading, car long-term rental, car industry financial services, and other areas.

PonyCar is a car sharing platform that specializes in the new energy vehicle sharing economy to provide customers with intelligent travel experiences based on its electric vehicle sharing services. Unlike traditional car rental services, users can find available cars nearby via PonyCar’s app on smartphones, as well as the company’s WeChat Official Account. It also launches offline outlets close to shopping centers, famous enterprises, etc., to help users enjoy its car sharing services.

Founded in 2016 in Shenzhen, Ponycar has put more than 2,000 electric vehicles on the road in Shenzhen, with a registered number of over 100,000 users, according to the company. Currently, each of its cars on the road is shared by five to eight people daily. It is also establishing an intelligent scheduling system to save costs on operation, as well as improve efficiency based on the integration of AI, video, and imaging recognition support.

This new financing round was led by Zhihe Chuxing. The capital will be used to expand to more potential cases to meet customers’ demands, such as long-term car rental services, new car and used car trading services, car financial services, and others. The company plans to build its ecosystem to seek opportunities in the car sharing industry.

(Top photo from Hellobike)

Kaikai Shi
Kaikai Shi

Kaikai Shi runs the Tech Financing columns for us. He holds a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology at Zhejiang University. His interests are in new technology and reading. Kai believes that new technology will change the world we live in, and is trying to engage himself in this process. Write to him: kai[at]alltechasia.com

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