ofo is implementing its station-free bike-sharing platform in Seattle
Ofo, the world’s leading station-free bike-sharing company, announced its North American launch today, with Seattle as its first official city.
The global bike-sharing company, valued at over $2 billion, offers riders a convenient, flexible bike-sharing model that rids users of the limitations of docking stations. ofo’s phone application and smart lock technology allow riders to rent and park bikes anywhere that complies with local laws.
Connecting more than 8 million bikes in more than 170 cities across seven countries, ofo generates over 25 million transactions per day. Founded in 2014, the company has provided upwards of 3 billion rides to over 100 million global users.
“Station-free bike-sharing was ofo’s pioneering concept that changed the nature of the sharing economy and transportation options in cities across the globe,” said Dai Wei, 26, founder and CEO of ofo. “There is a need for this type of transportation solution worldwide. Our mission is to solve the ‘last mile’ transportation problem in urban areas, and we see immense potential in the U.S. for ofo’s convenient, affordable and low-carbon way of travel.”
In July, ofo announced a global partnership with mobile payment platform Ayden, allowing customers to use one set of payment credentials to pay for rides anywhere that ofo operates worldwide. Users can download the ofo app and scan the QR code to unlock the bike. When the trip is completed, users will be charged $1 for a ride up to one hour. As in all other cities where it operates, ofo will have local, on-the-ground maintenance and management staff to assist with bike parking and repairs.
ofo received a permit from the Seattle Department of Transportation to bring 1,000 bicycles to the city’s streets in August as part of a pilot, with the intention to serve the entire city of Seattle by increasing the fleet after September.
“We will be working in close coordination with government officials to ensure that ofo becomes a valuable part of the lives of Seattle residents,” said Grace Lin, vice president of ofo U.S. “As the world’s leading bike-sharing company, we are thrilled about starting our service in Seattle and hope to continue to expand our U.S. footprint.”
ofo raised $700 million in its Series E funding, led by Alibaba, Hony Capital and CITIC Private Equity, in July this year.