Chinese bike-sharing platform Hello Chuxing, once known as Hello Bike, is seeking several hundred million US dollars in a new round of financing that would take the company’s valuation to USD 4 billion, online news portal ifeng.com reported on Wednesday, citing unnamed sources close to the matter.
Hello Chuxing declined to comment when contacted by 36Kr on Wednesday.
At the end of last year, the company announced that it had raised RMB 4 billion (USD 583 million) in new funding led by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial and Primavera Capital Group. At that point in time, the company was valued above USD 2.5 billion, according to 36Kr, citing unidentified sources close to investors in that round.
Bloomberg also reported in early April that the startup was planning to raise between USD 500 million to USD 1 billion.
Hello Chuxing is now in need of capital to boost its ride-hailing business to go up against the country’s largest ride-hailing platform, Didi Chuxing.
Hello launched its hitchhiking business in more than 300 cities across China in February, after Didi suspended its own service of the same type following two rape and murder cases involving drivers and passengers using its app.
Hello claims that it has implemented a slew of measures to guarantee safety, and announced that it has set up a fund with RMB 500 million (USD 74.3 million) to fuel its hitchhiking services. This cash is meant to be spent on promotional campaigns, such as waiving commission, offering discounts for passengers, and doling out bonuses for drivers who sign up to offer rides.
In China, a hitchhiking platform matches passengers who need a ride with drivers who are heading the same way, even for longer, inter-city journeys. This allows both parties to save on travel expenses. The platform then takes a cut from the fee received by the driver.
36Kr is KrAsia’s parent company.
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