Singapore’s oBike reaches 10m rides but still peddles behind rivals
BIKE-SHARING startup oBike has passed 10 million rides since it was founded a year ago. But despite its success, the Singaporean company still has some catching up to do with its larger rivals from China, Ofo and Mobike.
Last month, Alibaba-backed Ofo announced the company saw 32 million daily rides. Mobike, on the other hand, saw around 20 million rides per day as of April 2017.
According to Tech in Asia, both Mobike and Ofo have outraised oBike in terms of external funding by “many multiples” – despite oBike raising one of the largest Series B rounds in Southeast Asian history.
The Singaporean startup seems to be at risk at losing its home turf. According to data and insights company App Annie, oBike is third and tenth, respectively, in the rankings in Singapore’s iOS and Android app stores. On the other hand, Ofo and Mobike surge ahead, ranking first and second in both app stores in the same country.
As reported by Tech in Asia, oBike co-founder Edward Chen argues its competitors have had a two-year head start in China, giving them a lot more time to accumulate resources as well as operational experience. In the future, oBike aims to expand overseas more aggressively.
According to Jackie Lam, co-founder of startup research firm Oddup: “Ofo will be the biggest concern for oBike, given they have backing from Alibaba and are ‘pushed’ to own the Asian market and take a bigger stake in Southeast Asia.” Alibaba already owns a majority stake in Lazada, a major e-commerce marketplace in Southeast Asia.
As well as this, Lam adds that bike-sharing companies such as oBike need to be aware of the importance of bike management and the potential legal problems that may arise in the industry.
“Margins on bike sharing are super thin, and there are major community problems that have arisen (like dumping of bikes in rivers, as well as stolen or lost bikes). These will affect the sector and these companies need to have money on their balance sheet to support a large legal bill which may arise,” she adds.
In Australia, state government minister Martin Foley announced this week that councils need to do more to tackle the problem of dumped oBikes in central Melbourne.
— Martin Foley (@MartinFoleyMP) December 17, 2017
As reported by Herald Sun, since the introduction of the hundreds of dockless share bikes in June, many have been damaged or illegally dumped around the city of Melbourne.