Ctrip invests in Mobike for a full-service OTA
Ctrip chairman James Liang sees Mobike as not just a convenient daily transport, but also an extremely valuable tool for travelers to explore and discover cities.
Ctrip has taken part in a USD 215 million Series D funding round for Mobike, China’s leading smartphone-enabled bicycle rental business.
James Liang, chairman of Ctrip, said:
“Ctrip has been following Mobike’s development with great interest because we see it as not just a convenient everyday way of getting from A to B, but also an extremely valuable tool for travellers to explore and discover cities.
“We are excited to work with Mobike to create even more exciting, seamless short distance travel experiences for people in more cities around China and internationally.”
Mobike has now raised more than USD 350 million. The company launched in Shanghai just last April and is now present in nine cities. Its main rival in the bicycle rental sector is Ofo which has Taxi app Didi involved in its USD 130 million C round last September.
Liang’s reference to bicycles as a way for travellers to explore and discover cities resonates with the “live like a local” mantra of many travel companies.
Whether Ctrip will, say, create a new local tours product based around cycle routes is not discussed, but Ctrip’s financial clout and mobile technology expertise means that someone somewhere in the organisation is thinking about how tech-enabled bicycle sharing can work within a full-service OTA.
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