SG Bike buys Mobike’s license to operate in Singapore

SG Bike is set to become the largest bike-sharing operator in Singapore.

Photo provided by SG Bike along with press release.

Singapore homegrown dockless bike-sharing operator SG Bike has inked an SGD 2.54 million (USD 1.83 million) agreement with Chinese bike-sharing startup Mobike to take over the latter’s license to operate in Singapore, the companies said in a joint release today.

The deal is currently awaiting approval from Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA). The companies are expecting a response from the LTA by September 13.

Following the completion of the deal and any required systems integration, SG Bike users will be able to unlock both SG Bike and Mobike’s bicycles on the island-state using the SG Bike app. Existing Mobike users with account balances and ride passes will be able to transfer them to SG Bike.

The agreement was reached just as Mobike is readjusting its international strategy.

“Combining Mobike and SG Bike is the ideal solution for Mobike in Singapore as it maintains the continuity that has been established since Mobike launched in Singapore in 2017,” said Steve Milton, head of Mobike international public relations.

Mobike pulled out from the Asia Pacific region in March. The company confirmed with KrASIA that it will “shut down operations in some Asian countries in the near future” and to “continue evaluating operations in other countries and regions”.

In the same month, Mobike submitted a proposal to the LTA for an orderly withdrawal from the Singapore market. The LTA said it would work with the Chinese firm to ensure any impact on consumers was kept to the minimum, said The Straits Times. 

The bike-sharing market in the island state has been harsh to international players with Ofo then Mobike pulling out consecutively. Both companies reportedly shut down their operations in Singapore due to unsustainable business models in the country.

Founded in 2017, SG Bike is Singapore’s first homegrown bike-sharing firm. Prior to the acquisition, SG Bike’s license allowed it to operate a fleet of 3,000 vehicles in Singapore while Mobike, one of the world’s largest bike-sharing companies, was allowed a fleet of 25,000 bicycles.

If the deal goes through, SG Bike will become the dominant player in Singapore’s bike-sharing market with a fleet of 28,000 vehicles out of a total pool of 39,000, with Moov and AnyWheel operating 1,000 and 10,000 bicycles respectively.