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Ant-Backed Bike-Sharing Firm Files Confidentially for IPO

Another bike firm chases a windfall.
(Robert Way)
(Robert Way)
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“Chinese bike-sharing giant Hello Inc. has confidentially filed for a U.S. initial public offering,” Bloomberg writes.

Why It Matters: Here’s another company riding the wave of tech firms looking to cash out on surging valuations by selling shares. It also doesn’t hurt that Hello is backed by Ant Group, which was eyeing the biggest IPO ever before regulatory issues threw a wrench in the plans.

Mums The Word: Hello has “yet to decide the size and valuation of the IPO, though IFR has reported that it was examining plans to raise as much as $1 billion.”

  • China International Corp., Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley, the firms shepherding the listing, all declined to comment.

Some Details on Hello:

  1. It was founded in 2016 and is valued at around $5 billion, according to CB Insights.
  2. Hello counts Primavera Capital Group, Fosun International Ltd. and GGV Capital among its investors.
  3. According to its website, Hello has over 400 million registered users and its bike can be found in more than 400 cities in China (as of October).

The Rub: Hello (previously known as Hellobike and sometimes called Hello TransTech) “is one of the few firms to survive China’s bike-sharing bubble, which had attracted billions of dollars in investment at its height before going bust.” Other industry rivals have posted huge losses, while Hello has transformed into a “one-stop transportation solution provider.”

  • It’s a crowded space, with large rivals like Didi Chuxing Technology Co. and Meituan (which took over Mobike in 2018). The industry has also seen a shift toward electric bicycles, with more than 6 million e-bikes over china as of November.

A Final Note: “Hello’s potential debut comes amid increasing scrutiny by Chinese regulators over the so-called sharing economy. In December, the Ministry of Transport summoned ride-hailing operators including Hello over illegal car-sharing services and safety risks.”

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