The cut-throat competition within the Chinese bike sharing market shows no signs of cooling down, even as these start-ups may face more regulatory risks due to their excessive expansion in some cities’ central districts.
This week, yet another Chinese bike sharing start-up announced new round of financing. Shanghai-based venture capital firm Chengwei Capital has led a series B funding round in bike sharing company Hellobike, according to Chinese media reports.
Existing investor GGV Capital also participated in the round. No financing details were disclosed, but the company said it was worth hundreds of millions of RMB.
“We will enhance the construction of our supply chain and hire more talents," Said Han Mei, co-founder and chief operating officer of Hellobike, "Hellobike has focused on the bike sharing field and made more improvements in our services. We plan to accelerate expansion to other cities and create seamless travel experience to urban residents."
The latest proceeds will be used in research and development of new bicycles and execute market expansion, according to the company.
Last month, the Shanghai government asked six bike sharing companies including market leaders Mobike and ofo to temporarily suspend bike placement in the city’s central districts, saying shared bikes have reached saturation in those areas. Shanghai also asked four unnamed new shared electric bike companies to immediately stop vehicle placement.
Founded seven months ago in September 2016, Hellobike began operations in Suzhou in Zhejiang province and now operates in two additional cities in Ningbo and Xiamen. Its bikes are enabled with smart locks and GPS functions, allowing users to locate the nearest available bikes.
Three months earlier, the Shanghai-based start-up raised an undisclosed amount of capital in a series A+ round led by GGV Capital. Last November, the company completed a series A round from GGV Capital.