China’s leading ride-sharing company Mobike is soon to close a Series E round led by Meituan-Dianping, a Chinese lifestyle app, with participation from existing and new investors, according to 36Kr (in Chinese) citing multiple sources.
The funding round brings over USD 1 billion investment to Mobike at a valuation of more than USD 5 billion. Tech giant Tencent remains Mobike’s largest shareholder post-funding.
Last September, Tencent-backed Meituan-Dianping integrated Mobike’s service into its app, signifying a deeper partnership down the road. The duo has both rolled out their ride-hailing services, making Didi, the No.1 ride-hailer in China, as their shared rival.
At the same time, Mobike’s archrival Ofo has yet to complete its last round of USD 1 billion financing led by Alibaba announced earlier this year. Because one of its very own investors, Didi, declined to sign the investment agreement to avoid the bike-sharing startup using the investment from Alibaba to dilute some of Didi’s share.
Stepping on each other’s toes
Chinese tech giants are stepping toes on each other.
Didi Chuxing, who has beaten Uber in China, is now the de facto monopoly in the country in terms of ridesharing and car-hailing. Over the past years, bike sharing, often used as a last-mile mobility choice, became an organic complement to longer-distance car rides. And to some degree, bike sharing is denting some of Didi’s business, which explains well Didi is moving to the bike sharing sector.
On the other hand, Meituan-Dianping, the largest O2O lifestyle service in the world, had piloted its own car-hailing services in a few cities in China, dipping its toes into Didi’s territory.
The pilot was in last year and Meituan has yet to give a timetable of officially launching its own ride-hailing service.