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Asia Uber/Lyft

SoftBank May Invest in Chinese Bike Rental Firm Ofo

Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group is in talks to invest in Chinese bike rental firm Ofo, people familiar with the matter said, the latest sign of how the hugely popular bike-sharing business in China is drawing big name investors.

Ofo’s backers already include Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group, ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing and venture capital firm DST Global. Just last week, Beijing-based Ofo announced a $700 million funding round led by Alibaba and two Chinese private equity firms. That round valued Ofo at about $3 billion, according to a person familiar with the fundraising. Any SoftBank investment would be in addition to last week’s round.  

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By the end of 2017, for instance, Ofo plans to deploy 20 million bikes in 200 cities in 20 countries across the globe, according to the company.