Despite Tel Aviv Municipality's refusal to cooperate with Chinese bicycle sharing venture Mobike, the company is expanding its operations in the city. In Israel, Mobike is operating through car-sharing company Car2Go of the Shagrir group.
Mobike has agreements with Tel Aviv University and neighboring municipalities such as Ramat Gan so that the silver and orange bikes can frequently be seen around Tel Aviv. Now Mobike has concluded an agreement with Wix.com Ltd. (Nasdaq: WIX), which will give the company's employees at its Tel Aviv Port offices and elsewhere in the city access to its bicycles.
Unlike Tel Aviv municipality's Tel-O-Fun service, Mobike's bicycles are not tethered to fixed stations. They can be picked up and left at any bicycle parking place. They have a built-in lock, and are hired using a special app, through which the nearest bicycle is located. The user unlocks the bicycle by scanning a barcode on it, and locks it in the same way at the end of the ride. The bicycles are connected to a GPS system enabling their movements and locations to be monitored. They are stationed at hot spots in accordance with ad hoc demand when public transport in unavailable or inadequate, such as at mass events.
There are more than 30,000 Israelis already registered for Mobike's bicycle service in Israel where there are 2,500 Mobike bicycles. Renting the bicycle costs NIS 4 per half an hour.
Mobike was founded in 2015 by Hu Weiwei. Its value is estimated at $3 billion. The company, which has so far raised $1 billion, is active in the US, Australia, Germany, the UK, Italy, and in many cities in China. Mobike's rival Chinese bicycle sharing company Ofo recently unexpectedly announced it was halting its services in Israel after less than a year in the country.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 19, 2018
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