(Yicai Global) Dec. 28 -- Shanghai Junzheng Network Technology, the company behind Chinese bike-sharing startup Hellobike, has attracted billions of yuan in a new round of financing, a bright spot in an otherwise fast-deflating sector.
Primavera Capital and Ant Financial Services Group led the latest round, Shanghai-based Junzheng Network told Yicai Global. It did not disclose the exact amount raised or any other details. The company's last fundraising was in May, when it took in over CNY2 billion (USD292 million). Shanghai-based Yunxin Venture Capital, Ant Financial's wholly owned unit, contributed CNY1.9 billion of that.
China's bike-sharing sector is feeling the ebbing tide of popularity and credibility, with even its feasibility being called into question. Wukong Bicycle, Kuqi Bike, Bluegogo, Xiaoming Bike and others have either closed or merged since July last year. And Beijing Bikelock Technology, one of the two major players and owner of the Ofo fleet, is also in difficulty, with the number of its users awaiting deposit refunds exceeding 10 million as of Dec. 19.
Bikelock Technology and its legal representative Dai Wei are also subject to a court-imposed ban on high roller consumption and consumer behavior not necessary for life and work. The ban specifically blocks travel by air, soft-sleeper train or ship of second class or above. They may still presumably get on a bike.
They are also prohibited from setting foot in star-rated hotels, hotels, nightclubs, golf clubs and other venues, and from buying property or cars and going on tour.
The other major player, Beijing Mobike Technology, has reportedly cut 20 percent to 30 percent of staff, but this mass layoff was an ordinary business adjustment, with some positions still hiring, the company said.
It has had a net loss of CNY407 million (USD59.4 million), with a daily loss of CNY15.6 million and an annual loss of about CNY5.7 billion since its acquisition in April by Meituan Dianping, according to the latter's September listing prospectus.
Editor: Ben Armour