The electric bike sharing service Qeebike (骑电单车) announced lately that it has closed a tens of millions of US dollars Series A led by IDG Capital, with participation from Legend Capital, Ventech China, Qingsong Fund and Incapital.
The company raised an angel round of tens of millions yuan from Incapital and Legend Capital as soon as it was founded. In May 2017, it secured a Pre-A of tens of millions yuan led by Qingsong Fund, alongside Incapital and Legend Capital.
In August 2017, the company rolled out its 2nd generation electric bikes in Hangzhou, and its fleet has since expanded to nearly 10,000. The company garners, in average, 5-6 rides per electric bike per day, with its average revenue per customer and average travel distance per ride being pegged respectively at over 3 yuan (approx. $ 0.48) and 4km. Charged at 3 yuan per hour, Qeebike, which can be accessed through its app, Alipay, and WeChat, is an intelligent fusion of electric motorcycle and bike.
“We now have sharing bikes for the ‘last kilometer’ problem for commuters. But electric bikes target specifically the ‘last 2-5 kilometers’ problem complementing the existing means of transportation like online car-hailing as well as bus and subway systems,” says QIN Zhi, president of Qeebike.
The operation and maintenance of sharing electric bikes, says ZHOU Kunpeng, CEO of Qeebike, is not the same as that of the sharing bikes, as it involves an element that’s unique to sharing electric bikes: battery charging. That’s essentially where Qeebike’s competitive advantage lies as a powerful “weapon” of Qeebike’s that’s hard to compete with.
Unlike some other electric bike sharing operators, which generally employ a central charging system or fixed schedule for battery changing, Qeebike has its battery charging cabinets distributed within its area of operation to deliver an effortless battery changing experience for its users. A distributed battery charging network can minimize the stock of batteries and bring down the battery changing cost (to, say, less than 1 yuan per electric bike per day) when the number of its electric bikes, batteries and battery charging cabinets reaches the optimal proportion as Qeebike’s business scale grows.
Actually, Qeebike has chosen its approach to battery changing for a good reason. In some sense, operating a battery charging network is like operating a 3km-range “delivery”. A distributed battery charging network, once reaching a certain scale, can enhance efficiency and pare down cost.
Additionally, the company has also invested intensively in research and development. It has, for example, improved the safety of the lithium batteries installed in its electric bikes and obtained CQC Mark Certification. Qeebike follows a different path of sharing business operation by introducing docking stations for its electric bikes. And it’s also worth noting that its electric bikes come with a preset speed limit.
Qeebike is now on track to branch out into more cities, with a new funding round imminent.
Qeebike was founded in October 2016, with its headquarters in Hangzhou. Its CEO ZHOU Kunpeng is the founder and former CEO of 59store, which had previously raised a Series B+ of 200 million yuan (approx. $ 31.9 million). Its CTO YANG Chunlei is one of the three co-founders of the electric car company Xpeng. QIN, former CEO of the online auto marketplace, Autohome.com, serves as the president of the company.