China-based ofo joins in the bike-share battle against oBike

50c per trip anywhere

ofo bike-share launches in Singapore

Look like bike sharing is the next Uber. After oBike quiet launch earlier this month, there’s already a new player in town.

Ofo is a China-based company that provides similar stationless bike rental service as oBike, allowing users to rent and collect bicycles from designated parking areas in parks or malls through a mobile app.

Unlocking ofo bikes, however, requires a bit more effort. oBike has an automatic lock which opens simply by scanning a QR code on the bike whereas ofo will send you a 4-digit code for unlocking the bike manually.

ofo clearly doesn’t want to lose the race to oBike, despite being late to the game here in Singapore. As a launch promotion, ofo is charging only 50 cents per trip, which means you could ride for hours without incurring additional charges. oBike in comparison charges a dollar for every 30 minutes and a refundable $49 deposit.

Three is a crowd

Besides oBike and ofo, Mobike is the third China-based bike-share startup that will be launching soon in Singapore as well. Despite being the newer and smaller startup in China, Mobike has secure a large funding from investors such as Tencent, Sequoia Capital and Singapore’s Vertex.

Mobike’s bicycles are the prettiest out of the three and a somewhat more sophisticated. They are maintenance free up to four years, made of aluminium to prevent rust and corrosion, features airless tyres and a concealed transmission so users won’t have to deal with chains coming off. Mobike locks are also solar powered, removing the need to replace them often.

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Mobike has also recently set up a Singapore-specific site which suggests we will be seeing their bikes on the road very soon. Similar to oBike, Mobike charges a dollar per 30 minutes and users can preload credits from the app.

Things are heating up as these bike-share startups try to capture the Singapore market, which isn’t a bad thing at all. It could well kick-start a healthier biking culture here and make commuting to and from train stations/bus terminals a lot more convenient.

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