Mobike, a Chinese bike-sharing startup, has raised $US600 million (£470 million) ahead of an expansion to the UK, according to Reuters.
Mobike raised the latest round from Chinese internet giant Tencent and renowned Silicon Valley tech investment firm Sequoia Capital, as well as a number of other investors.
Total funding in the Beijing-based company now stands at $US925 million (£725 million), according to Crunchbase.
Launched just over a year ago, Mobike’s orange wheeled bikes can be found in cities across China, as well as in Singapore. There are 5 million of them in total and they facilitate 25 million rides a day. They can be accessed using a smartphone app.
Later this month, they will also be on the streets of Manchester and Salford in the UK, according to a press release.
Weiwei Hu, founder of Mobike, 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.
The leader of Manchester City Council, Sir Richard Leese, added: “We are excited that Manchester has the opportunity to be at the forefront of trialling this cutting-edge, app-based cycle hire scheme in the UK.
“This is another way in which we can encourage residents to choose active, environmentally friendly travel and we look forward to working closely with Mobike and Transport for Greater Manchester in the coming weeks, to examine and assess how the scheme will work in practice.”
Mobike’s biggest rival is another Chinese company called Ofo, which has been backed with $US580 million (£454 million) from the likes of Uber competitor Didi Chuxing and Russian-headquartered venture capital firm DST Global.
Mobike did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
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