China's Tencent leads $600 million investment in bike share startup Mobike

China's Tencent leads $600 million investment in bike share startup Mobike”

The move is part of an overseas expansion from the Tencent-backed company, which aims to expand its business into 100 cities globally before the end of the year.

The latest $600 million raised by Mobike will be used to spearhead its push out of China, with a number of European cities on the agenda in the coming months - but Mobike cofounder and CEO David Wang said that the company plans to double the number of cities it's available in by the end of 2017.

In addition to Tencent, Sequoia, TPG and Hillhouse Capital were existing investors who provided financing in the latest round. New investors in this round include investment banks BOCOM International Holdings Co Ltd, ICBC International Holdings Ltd and asset management firm Farallon Capital. The service is now present in 100 cities - which was its expansion target for this year. While most of those cities are in China, the company has expanded to Singapore and has recently launched a pilot service for 1,000 bikes in the United Kingdom, starting in the cities of Manchester and Salford. The principle is simple: bikes are fitted with Global Positioning System trackers which allows them to be picked up from and left anywhere using an app.

It operates more than 5m smart bikes, which consumers can access via Global Positioning System enabled smartphone apps; users can scan the QR code on the bike, pay for it digitally and when they are finished leave the bike wherever they want.

The new financing round will also fund investment in Internet-of-Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence technology to support the brand, it said.

Mobike said it operates more than five million bikes, and its 100 million registered users take 25 million trips per day at peak times. The rider can then park the bike by the roadside once they reach their destination and lock it.

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