Tencent Tech, 4/22/17
Beijing-based Bikelock Technology, operator of mobile bicycle-sharing app Ofo, recently announced it has landed an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of Chinese e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA). A representative for Ofo said that the companies plan to cooperate on payments, user credit, and internationalization.
Ofo will provide Ant Financial with new users covering cashless payment scenarios, and Ant Financial's user platform, payment capabilities, and credit system will help Ofo to upgrade its user experience. Ofo's rapid expansion in overseas markets and Ant Financial's internationalization strategy are also well-matched for coordination.
On March 16, Ofo announced a partnership with Ant Financial's consumer credit rating affiliate Sesame Credit, and said that within the Shanghai region, Sesame Credit users with a credit score of 650 or better would be allowed to rent Ofo bicycles without paying a security deposit, moving the industry towards a "credit-based unlocking" model. On April 18, Ofo announced that it would also introduce a credit-based deposit-free rental model in Hangzhou.
Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "Ofo Piloting Credit Score System to Waive Deposit in Shanghai," MD 3/17/17 issue.