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  • Alibaba-backed bicycle-sharing firm Ofo enters India via Chennai

    December 7th, 2017adminBusiness & Economy, World Opinion


    While competition continues to intensify in the mobility space, it is the humble bicycle that is the next target. Chinese bicycle sharing company Ofo has made its India entry via Chennai.

    Launched in 2014, Ofo offers a ‘non-docking’, bicycle-sharing platform, operated via an online mobile application. The company has over 100 million registered users across 180 cities globally. Ofo will import bikes into India which will be available in Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Indore, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

    The company has also been actively looking for talent to build teams for various locations in Asia Pacific and cities like Delhi, Coimbatore and Pune, it is learnt. Emails sent to Ofo did not elicit a response.
    In China, Ofo competes with Mobike, backed by Alibaba rival Tencent. The unicorn’s entry comes at a time when players like Ola and Zoomcar have pilots running in various cities. Earlier this month, Ola announced commencement of Ola Pedal pilots. Zoomcar’s PEDL presently operates over 500 cycles in 4 cities, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Kolkata. PEDL cycles come with features like custom designed aluminum alloy frames and drum brakes, anti-slip chains, airless solid tyres and smart locks. PEDL also has the option for anyone to become a host by allowing cycles to be placed at the individual’s residence in return for various benefits.

    “It is always good to have a competitor as it helps the market to grow. Ultimately, cycles will do better part of multi modal vs stand-alone,” said Greg Moran, cofounder, Zoomcar.
    While welcoming the entry of Ofo, industry observers are circumspect about its sustainability. “It disrupts the way people look at last mile connectivity. However, a lot of issues need to be addressed such as infrastructure support (public restrooms/changing rooms), statutory frameworks and issues arising out of current ecosystems (share autos losing their business),” said KP Krishnan, who runs Cycos, a cycle rental company.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / TNN / December 07th, 2017

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