Silicon Valley's LimeBike faces off against China's bike-sharing power
Faced with the Chinese foes entering US, the San Mateo, Ca.-based LimeBike has snared $50 million investment on top of $12 million in March to speed up its reach in 30 cities and campuses nationwide.
A race to dominate the rapidly growing smart bike market is on: Pioneering, unicorn-financed Chinese start-ups Ofo and Mobike are facing off in the United States with pumped-up Silicon Valley-based rival LimeBike.
Freshly loaded with USD 50 million more in investment and geared up to launch in 10 more U.S. cities this year, LimeBike is pedaling fast in the United States to pass China's Ofo and Mobike with their big ambitions and billion-dollar coffers from China power players Tencent and Alibaba.
The United States is a new battleground for Ofo and Mobike, which invented and popularized the dockless bike-sharing market in China and have started to go international. Ofo kicked off operations in Seattle, Boston suburbs and Washington, D.C., in August, while Mobike launched in Washington, D.C., in September. Main U.S. competitor LimeBike kick-started its first U.S. market in June at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has quickly rolled out to 20 places.
Bike-sharing is growing exponentially in the U.S. In 2016, riders took 28 million trips, on par with the annual ridership of the entire Amtrak system, the National Association of City Transportation Officials reported. The five biggest systems are in New York, Greater Washington D.C., Miami, Chicago and Greater Boston. Analysts predict the boom will continue as popularity increases.
Faced with the supercharged Chinese foes entering U.S. turf, the San Mateo, Ca.-based LimeBike has just snared $50 million in investment on top of USD 12 million in March to speed up its roll-out to reach 30 cities and campuses nationwide this year. The funding comes from technology sector hedge fund Coatue Management, Templeton Investments, GGV Capital, Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Ventures, ex-Google Ventures Bill Maris' Section 32, Stanford StartX Fund in addition to its Series A investors including Silicon Valley venture investors Andreessen Horowitz and DCM.
Read Original Article