U.S.-based smart hardware focused venture capital firm Grishin Robotics has led a US$9 million series A round in Gobee.bike, a Hong Kong-based bike sharing start-up.
Alibaba Entrepreneurs Fund, a non-profit initiative of Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd., also participated in the round, according to a company announcement.
Last month, Alibaba led a US$700 million series E round in ofo, one of China’s biggest bike sharing start-ups, with a valuation of around US$3 billion.
Launched in April, Gobee.bike operates similarly to other Chinese bike sharing firms. It allows users to rent a bike by scanning a QR code via a smartphone app, and customers can return the bike by simply locking it at any location.
Unlike in mainland China, where numerous bike sharing firms are trying to grab market share from dominant players, ofo and Mobike, Gobee.bike competes with Hong Kong’s traditional bike rental stores, which require customers to return their bikes to the store after use. The company charges HK$5 every 30 minutes, compared with traditional bike rental stores who charge HK$40 per day.
In April, the company raised a undisclosed seed round from venture capital firm Swiss Founders Fund. It plans to use the latest proceeds to support its expansion in Hong Kong and overseas.