(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.>
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.