Alibaba Group is serving as a lead investor in ofo’s latest round of financing, according to a statement from the Chinese bike-sharing company on Thursday.
Also backing the company’s $700 million Series E financing round are Hony Capital, CITIC Private Equity and existing investors Didi and DST Global.
Alibaba’s participation follows an investment by affiliate Ant Financial in ofo earlier this year. It fits with the strategy laid out by Alibaba Executive Vice Chairman Joe Tsai at the company’s Investor Day in June, which centers on finding investments that bring long-term value to Alibaba and its ecosystem.
“ofo has redefined short-distance commuting, enabling a low-carbon footprint experience and delivering value to users and society,” Tsai said in the ofo statement. “ofo is the industry leader, and we support its open-platform strategy. We look forward to working closely with the ofo team to unlock the full potential of the bike-sharing industry.”
ofo,which has the bulk of its business in China, recently expanded into the U.K., U.S. and Singapore. It has plans to move into over 200 cities by the end of the year. Since its launch two years ago, the company says it has provided over 2 billion rides to more than 100 million users. Users currently account for about25 million rides a day. ofosays it is the world’s largest bike-sharing platform in both size and market share, connecting over 6.5 million bikes to riders in 150 cities across five countries.
Bike-sharing has become hot in China in recent years, with companies jockeying for supremacy and racks filled with brightly colored bikes available from competing mobile apps.