Chinese bicycle-sharing firm Mobike to ride into India this week
Chinese smart bicycle sharing company Mobike has said that it will launch its services in India on Thursday.
Beijing-headquartered Mobike will initially set up shop in Pune, but plans to expand to 10 cities across the country over the next 12-16 months.
The Tencent-backed company also announced the appointment of former EY executives Vibhor Jain and Sujith Nair as chief executive officer and chief business officer respectively.
In a statement, Mobike said the duo would play a pivotal role in orchestrating Mobike's entry and expansion in India in the next 18 months.
Mobike was acquired by Chinese firm Meituan-Dianping for an estimated $2.7 billion last month.
“We have been engaging with the government authorities in several cities and states in India for some time now and have received a tremendous response for launching smart bike sharing services,” said Jain, who joins Mobike from Atlanta Healthcare, an air quality management company which he founded.
Founded in 2015, Mobike operates specially-designed bicycles equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology,
Users can check Mobike's smartphone app to find a bicycle near them, reserve and unlock it, then complete their trip by closing the lock anywhere regular bicycle parking is allowed.
The company officially launched services in Shanghai in April 2016. It now has a presence in 200 cities across 16 countries.
Mobike is entering a market where three homegrown companies, including ride-hailing firm Ola and Ford- and Sequoia-backed self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar, are running pilots for their respective bicycle sharing services.
In addition, Alibaba-backed Chinese bicycle sharing unicorn ofo announced its entry into India late last year.
In its home market, ofo competes with Mobike for the pole position.
Zoomcar had announced its entry into the app-based bicycle sharing market with Zoomcar PEDL in mid-October, and had launched its services in select locations in several cities.
Ola had launched Ola Pedal in the first week of November at the IIT-Kanpur campus.
InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta, who had recently quit the firm, has also launched a bicycle sharing startup, Yulu.