Chinese fintech giant Ant Financial has reportedly invested 2 billion yuan (around 302 million USD) into Hellobike, a Shanghai-based bike sharing company, reports National Business Daily.
Hellobike said it gained a total of 350 million US dollars in investment during the latest round of financing from a list of companies including Ant Financial, WM Motor and Fushida.
The latest round of financing of Hellobike comes as the bike sharing industry is experiencing great stagnancy.
Since 2016, dozens of companies have joined the bike sharing industry, but only a few of them still remain operational today. The market shares held by current leaders of the industry, Mobike and Ofo, have reached about 90 percent, leaving little space for the development of other competitors.
Meanwhile, the bankruptcy of some bike sharing companies has created challenges for consumers to reclaim their deposits – a phenomenon that has undermined consumer confidence in the sector.
"I think what we should do is to help the industry do away with requiring deposits, to defuse the concerns from the consumers and to promote the healthy development of the bike sharing industry," said Eric Jing, CEO of Ant Financial Services Group.
Shanghai Jun Zheng Network Technology, the developer of Hellobike, has seen fast development after the company was merged by Changzhou Youon Public Bicycle System Co earlier this year.