Beijing-based bicycle sharing service ofo has entered the Indian market with Chennai being the first city. Founded in 2014, ofo claims to be the world’s first and largest station-free bike sharing platform.
Just like any other bike sharing service, the user will start by downloading the app and locate the GPS-enabled bike, and unlock it by scanning the QR code. As ofo operates in a station-free model, there wont be any docking stations. Instead, the user is required to park the bike in one of their preferred parking zones found in the app, or anywhere safe within the ofo operating zone. After completing the trip, the user will have to manually lock the vehicle to end the trip.
The service will soon be expanded to other cities in India including Bengaluru.
ofo claims to be operating in over 180 cities globally, including UK and France, serving millions of rides everyday.
The company is reported to have raised around $1bn from investors including e-commerce giant Alibaba group. Back in China, ofo is competing with Mobike for pole position.
With homegrown companies like Zoomcar testing the PEDL, the competition is only going to intensify.
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