Ant Financial Backs Bike-Sharing Startup Ofo
Yicai Global
/SOURCE : Yicai
Ant Financial Backs Bike-Sharing Startup Ofo
(Yicai Global) April 24 -- Ofo Bicycle Co., one of China's two largest bike-sharing operators, announced that it received a strategic investment from Ant Financial Services Group, internet giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.'s [NYSE:BABA] financial technology divion. The amount of funding was not specified. /n/n/n/n/n The groups will work together on payment, credit, internationalization, and other fields to improve user experience in the bicycle sharing industry and promote the use of electronic payments.

The non-financial benefits of an alliance with Ant Financial may the most valuable to the Beijing-based bike-sharing group, insiders said. Both firms run platforms that have large, loyal userbases whose habits could be influenced by the companies' cooperation.

Ofo establhed a strategic partnership with Zhima Credit, an independent third-party credit information service under Ant Financial, in March.

Didi Chuxing and others have backed Ofo, which raed USD450 million during a financing round last month and broke the industry's record for funds raed in a single go. Ofo competitor Beijing Mobike Technology Co. has attracted investors including Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. [HKG:0700] and Singapore's Temasek Holdings Private Ltd.

Ant Financial also backed bicycle sharing platform "Youon" on February 28, 2017.

Ofo's market share 51.2 percent and Mobike's 40.1 percent, a BigData-Research report that was released on February 8 shows.

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