Bike-sharing startup Mobike goes beyond Asia, launches in the UK

15 Jun

By Kajal Joshi, The Tech Portal

Shanghai-based on-demand bike startup Mobike is now expanding beyond Asia. It is stepping into Manchester and Salford on June 29 by bringing a fleet of 1,000 bikes on-road.

The company will gradually expand its footprint across the Europe after stepping into these two cities. Weiwei Hu, Founder of Mobike, in a statement, said,

We’re very excited to make Manchester and Salford Mobike’s first European partners. They have long been a European leader in culture, innovation and technology and were carefully selected as promising and highly-suited Mobike cities.

Founded in 2015, Mobike began offering its service in Shanghai and several cities across China since it first launched last year. It then made its way to Singapore in March this year. After debuting in the U.K. cities of Manchester and Salford, it will take the total number of cities it has its presence into 100.

Mobike utilises a dockless bike-share system and enables users to look for a bike nearby them using the smartphone app. The specially-designed bikes are equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology, which allows their unlocking using smartphones. The rider can then park the bike by the roadside once they reach their destination and lock it. This makes the bike available to other app users in its vicinity. Steve Pyer, General Manager of Mobike UK, said,

We are already in talks with a number of other cities around Europe, and are sure the successful pilot will be the first of many partnerships, allowing us to make cycling the most convenient and affordable choice for those in cities all around Europe.

Mobike’s major competitor Ofo had already stepped into the UK just a few months ago. As per a recent report, it is seeking to raise $500 million in a funding round at a valuation of $3 billion to fuel its global expansion.