January 4, 2017 / 12:48 PM / 2 years ago

Chinese bike-share start-up Mobike raises $215 million in fresh funding

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese bike-sharing start-up Mobike has closed a $215 million series D funding round led by Tencent Holdings and Warburg Pincus LLC.

A MoBike sign is seen in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China, October 8, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

Mobike, founded in 2015, is one of several bike-sharing services in China and allows users to find, unlock and pay to rent the company’s bicycles through a smartphone app.

New investors include Chinese travel company Ctrip.com International, private equity firm TPG Capital and Huazhou Hotels Group, Mobike said in a statement on Wednesday.

Mobike, which did not disclose its latest valuation, aims to tap demand from Chinese white-collar workers seeking an alternative to congested roads and public transport in the country’s largest cities.

Bike-sharing apps have flourished in the past year, even as investment in other Chinese sharing economy start-ups has cooled.

One of Mobike’s main competitors, ofo, recently raised $130 million from investors including smart hardware business Xiaomi Inc and taxi-hailing company Didi Chuxing.

The bike services have also been lauded by advocates of China’s goal to build a network of smart cities.

“Our investment in Mobike demonstrates our commitment to supporting the development of the sharing economy and smart cities in China,” said Tencent Chairman and Chief Executive Pony Ma in the joint statement.

Previous investors Sequoia Capital and Hillhouse Capital also participated in the D series funding.

Mobike currently operates in nine cities within China and raised $100 million as part of an October funding round in which Tencent also participated.

Reporting by Cate Cadell; Editing by David Goodman

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