Start-up bike sharing firm Mobike has raised $215 million in series D funding, with investors now on board including hotel groups and international travel firms.
Founded in 2015, Mobike allows people to search, unlock and pay to rent hire bikes via a smartphone app. Docking stations are already operational in nine cities in China.
Led by Warburg Pincus LLC and Tencent Holdings, the latest funding drive has drawn investment from the likes of the Huazhou Hotel Group, TPG Capital and international travel firm Ctrip.com. Prior investors include Sequoi Capital and Hillhouse Capital, with the initial whip round generating $100 million.
Around the globe there is an increasing corporate interest in bike share, with the likes of Ford backing a U.S. share firm and Nike sponsoring Portland’s BikeTown fleet, among others.
Research has demonstrated that pairing bike sharing with safe infrastructure does significantly swell numbers of cyclists taking to the roads. Cincinnati’s RedBike scheme perfectly demonstrates the economic and social benefits of well-run hire schemes. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used to assist cities in turning a profit and run schemes efficiently.