Ofo, a startup that allows for bike-sharing, has currently shared 68,000 bicycles since it started. The company offers an app to help users in China connect with bikes they can use around campus or for a day trip.
The company, which promotes its bikes as a “green” alternative, has just received a massive cash infusion to help the company expand.
Didi Chuxing, a ride-hailing giant, announced that the company has invested tens of millions of dollars in Ofo. The undisclosed amount will start what the company considers a “multi-layered” partnership.
The deal comes at a time when Didi purchased Uber’s operations in the country. The deal was announced in August, and resulted in UberChina investors receiving a 20% stake in Didi. A strategic move by Uber, the deal also includes a $1 billion investment in Uber from Didi. Uber’s operations in China were valued at $8 billion, with Didi valued at $28 billion before the acquisition.
Didi’s recent investment in Ofo will help the company move into further markets. Ofo works a lot like Uber and it is often called the “Uber for bikes.” The company has over 70,000 bikes and has shared over 1.5 million rides in 20 cities, and it plans to continue expanding into new cities and markets.
Ofo exceled where many similar startups have failed: in securing investments.
Didi already has logistical operations in place, and the infrastructure of Didi would be able to help Ofo expand their operations rapidly. Following the purchase of UberChina, Didi further secured $7.3 billion in funding, with Apple investing $1 billion in the company, too.
The company will work closely with Ofo and may eye it as an acquisition in the future. Ofo offers rides for as little as 0.5 yuan, and the student start-up first came to fruition two years ago at Peking University.
The company offers 500,000 rides per day.