Ofo, a Chinese bike-sharing service, has raised $450 million in Series D funding at a valuation north of $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Backers include DST, Citic Private Equity, Matrix Partners, Coatue Management, Atomico and Macrolink Group.
Why it's the BFD: For starters, because it's not the only Chinese bike-sharing deal announced in the past 24 hours. Smaller rival Bluegogo announced a $58 million round led by Black Hole Capital. And that's all on top of last month's $300 million infusion for Mobike. It's a land grab reminiscent of ride-sharing, except it has driven prices so low that even Uber/Lyft/Didi/Dollar Tree would blush. Per the Bloomberg story, daily rental prices are often just 15 cents, and even that is being waived in some cases.
Bottom line: As an anonymous market tweeter noted, the bicycle in China has gone a symbol of egalitarian communism to one of competitive capitalism.