ALSO READChinese bike-sharing start-up Ofo raises funds from Jack Ma's Ant Financial This activist investor's Hong Kong stock rout prediction was spot on Got a startup with a small team? Here's how to expand to global markets China, Hong Kong launch bond scheme Start-up funding drops by almost 50%, hits lowest since 2014. Here's why
Chinese startup Ofo is in talks to raise $1 billion in a new funding round led by Japan's SoftBank Group, people familiar with the matter said, in what would be the largest fund-raising in the nation's bike-sharing business.
Didi Chuxing, China's biggest ride-hailing firm which counts SoftBank as an investor, could join Ofo's new fundraising round?the sources told Reuters. Ofo could reach a valuation of close to $3 billion after the funding, one of the sources said.
Ofo is seeking fresh capital less than a month after raising more than $700 million from investors led by Alibaba Group and two others, following rival Mobike, which in June announced a $600 million investment led by Tencent Holdings.
Ofo told local media on Wednesday it had named Fu Qiang, a former senior vice-president of Didi, executive president of the company but did not confirm the hiring of the other two.
For SoftBank, which recently launched a near $100 billion technology fund, an investment in Ofo would be another bet on China's sharing-based economy that has already attracted billions in venture capital. The Japanese conglomerate in May agreed to invest $5 billion in Didi, putting an over $50 billion valuation on the Chinese company.
SoftBank's potential investment in Ofo also comes after New York-based co-working space startup WeWork said on Thursday that it raised $500 million from SoftBank and several Chinese investors to set up a Chinese unit.