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PITCH
Foxconn- and Tencent-backed Mobike is leading the fierce fight for dominance in the global dockless bike-sharing market, with ambitions for more – including logistics services.
WHY?

Alleviate public transport pressure

Rapidly growing urban populations are putting public transport systems under pressure in cities worldwide.

Environmental concerns

As environmental concerns mount, people are looking for more sustainable transport alternatives to cars.

Troublesome to return bikes

Earlier bike-sharing services require users to return to stations, causing inconvenience and high administrative costs.

MARKET

49.65 million

Forecast number of bike-sharing users in China in 2017

The market is expected to exceed 100 million by 2019. Globally bike-sharing is expected to generate revenue of US$5.8 billion by 2020, at 20% annual growth rate.

PRODUCT
Orange bicycles equipped with GPS devices and smart locks for rental at RMB 0.5/hour in China. Mobike bicycles come with solid tires for lower deterioration rates and maintenance costs, compared with competitors’ bikes. The Mobike app lets users find nearby available bikes, unlock them and make payment for rental.
Orange bicycles equipped with GPS devices and smart locks for rental at RMB 0.5/hour in China. Mobike bicycles come with solid tires for lower deterioration rates and maintenance costs, compared with competitors’ bikes. The Mobike app lets users find nearby available bikes, unlock them and make payment for rental.
BUSINESS MODEL
Mobike’s business model remains unclear. Founder Hu Weiwei has said that so long as a product has sufficiently numerous users, it has value and will provide the platform for a good business model. Mobike bicycles are higher-end than those of Ofo, its closest rival, carrying smart locks that generate/collect data.

Read more

Mobike says it uses a credit score system to discourage “improper” behavior such as the reckless parking or dumping of bikes. Points are deducted when a bike is badly parked or when the user forgets to lock the bike. The score affects the cost of rental – the lower the score, the higher the rental pricing.

TIMELINE

  • Launch
  • Growth
  • Recent Developments
  • Future Plans
  • 2015 - Company set up. Raised seed, Series A financings; focused on bike manufacturing; Wang Xiaofeng joined as co-founder and CEO.

    Read in detail:

    The launch

    Late 2014, Li Bin, the founder and board chairman of electric automobile company NEXTEV, encouraged Hu Weiwei to start a business in bike sharing.

    Products and services

    Team decided to develop and produce their own bikes and smart locks, instead of purchasing existing products from manufacturers.

    Fundings

    Received seed investment of RMB 5 million from angel investor Li Bin.

    October, raised multimillion-USD Series A financing from JOY Capital.

    Key personnel

    December, Uber’s former General Manager of Shanghai area, Wang Xiaofeng, joined Mobike as CEO and co-founder.

  • 2016 - First Mobike services launched in Shanghai; rapid expansion in China. Finished three more financing rounds, raising over US$200 million.

    Read in detail:

    Products and services

    March, built its own factories for bike manufacturing.

    April, launched in Shanghai

    December, launched Mobike community in Guangzhou.

    Expansion

    August, expanded to Beijing.

    October, expanded to Guangzhou.

    December, number of Mobike bicycles in Shanghai reached 100,000.

    Year-end, operating in eight cities.

    Fundings

    August, raised 8-digit USD Series B financing from Panda VC, JOY Capital and Sinovation Ventures.

    September, closed US$100 million Series C round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital and Warburg Pincus.

    October, raised Series C+ financing of close to US$100 million from over 10 investors.

  • 2017 - Raised over US$900 million in Series D & E financings led by Tencent; US$3 billion valuation; Foxconn partnership; Singapore expansion; launched AI platform.

    Read in detail:

    Products and services

    January, built strategic partnership with Foxconn on bike design and manufacturing, and global supply chain integration.

    • Foxconn to open new production lines in 10+ Foxconn factories worldwide for Mobike, with an annual output capacity of 5.6 million bikes.
    • Mobike to tap Foxconn’s resources on industrial design and manufacturing to optimize product design and quality, and to enhance user experience.

    April, launched AI platform Magic Cube, a data-monitoring platform that supports the operation and maintenance of Mobike’s services across different cities.

    • The first time that AI is used in bike sharing.
    • Magic Cube can accurately forecast the supply and demand of bikes given hundreds of variables, e.g., location, time, weather, transport capacity, bike model and user type.
    • Geo-fencing technology is deployed through Magic Cube to help effectively manage bike parking. Mobike is the only bike-sharing company that has fully implemented geo-fencing.
    • The intelligent image recognition function can automatically identify the illegally parked bikes, with an accuracy of 99.8%.

    April, partnered with Wagas, a healthy-meals restaurant chain, to launch Mobike-themed restaurants in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, serving healthy meals to Mobike riders.

    Expansion

    January, operating in 13 cities in China; with over 100,000 bikes each in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

    March, expanded overseas to Singapore. Priced at SG$1/half hour, bikes were launched in high-demand locations like subway stations and university campuses.

    • Mobike’s bicycles in Singapore are all mounted with lamps and reflectors to fulfill local safety requirements.

    March, operating in 33 cities in China with over 1 million bikes; a total of 400 million rides made to date.

    April, operating in 50 cities in China and overseas with 3 million bikes. Orders per day now exceeded 20 million, with over 600 million rides made to date.

    Fundings

    January, finished Series D financing of US$215 million led by Tencent and Warburg Pincus, followed by Ctrip, Huazhu Hotels Group, TPG, Sequoia Capital China and Hillhouse Capital.

    February, received follow-up investment from Temasek Holdings and Hillhouse Capital. This new investment raised the Series D financing amount to over US$300 million. 

    June, raised more than US$600 million in Series E funding led by Tencent; valuation rose to over US$3 billion.

    • Sequoia Capital, TPG, Hillhouse Capital, BOCOM International, ICBC International and Farallon Capital also participated.
  • Recent Developments

    Mobike’s average daily orders have broken 20 million, making it the world’s largest and fastest-growing bike-sharing platform today. It has over 5 million smart bikes in circulation.

    Mobike’s capacity accounts for 45% of the global bike manufacturing and its daily capacity exceeds 100,000. Mobike has released over 200,000 bikes each in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

    It has also expanded to Manchester and Salford in the UK, marking its growth to 100 cities.

    Mobike bicycles are all carry smart locks with three positioning systems (GPS, BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and GLONASS), for faster and more accurate positioning.

    The smart locks also have built-in smart chips to collect data uninterruptedly from the 5 million bikes, creating the world’s largest mobile IoT system with over 1TB data generated daily.

    The IoT system was built in collaboration with Qualcomm, Vodafone, AT&T, Cisco and Ericsson. It enables Mobike to manufacture bikes in China that can be placed in any country without requiring adjustment for local conditions.

    Mobike has partnered with government sectors and research institutions to explore innovative solutions for urban planning, bike parking management, smart cities and low-carbon urban buildings.


  • Future Plans

    Focus on global expansion, starting with Europe.

    Offer logistics services, such as point-to-point delivery, soon.

Updated: 06/2017

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