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Exits, Venture Capital

Chinese Bike Rental Firm Youon Completes $87M Shanghai IPO

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Chinese bike rental company Youon Bike, backed by Ant Financial and Shenzhen Capital Group, has completed an initial public offering on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, raising RMB581 million (US$87 million). It is the first stock market listing by any of the dozens of bike sharing companies in China.

Youon started in 2010 as an operator of government-funded bike rental schemes in small cities and towns across the country. It entered the GPS-enabled bike sharing market during the second half of 2016, when so-called bike sharing became the rage among urban dwellers and venture capitalists alike. GPS-enabled bike sharing allows users to rent, ride and return vehicles at any time and any location.

At end of 2016, Youon operated 32,000 public bike stations with around 890,000 public bikes available in 210 cities. It has deployed around 50,000 dock-less sharing bikes, though it remains a tiny part of its overall business, accounting for just 0.05% of total revenue last year.

The Shanghai IPO was the company’s second attempt, after its first IPO application was rejected by regulators. This time, Youon issued 96 million shares at the price of RMB26.85 (US$3.99) apiece. Investors responded positively, with the shares trading as high as RMB38.66 on their first day of trade, up 44% from the IPO price.

In March, Youon said it would raise an undisclosed amount of capital from Ant Financial, IDG Capital and Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd. The deal was later scrapped, however, as investors cited uncertainty over the sustainability of the bike sharing boom.

In 2014, Youon received RMB50 million (US$7 million) from a number of investors including Shenzhen Capital Group Co., Ltd, and RMB100 million (US$14 million) from Shanghai Yunxin, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ant Financial. Yunxin is currently the sixth largest shareholder of Youon, while Shenzhen Capital Group is the eighth largest.

The company recorded revenue of RMB774 million (US$116 million) in 2016, up 25% year-on-year, and a net profit of RMB116 million (US$17 million), up 24% year-on-year.

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