June 27, 2017 / 3:52 AM / a month ago

REFILE-China's Ofo says new funding round for rapid expansion nearly done

2 Min Read

(Corrects to last name of CEO in paragraph 6)

DALIAN, June 27 (Reuters) - China's Ofo, one of the country's leading bike-sharing firms, said it is close to clinching new funding that will help it more than triple its fleet of yellow bicycles to 20 million this year.

The company, which currently has about 6 million bikes, also aims to break even by the end of the year, Chief Executive Dai Wei said.

"Our profitability is, in fact, very strong," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Dalian.

More than a dozen Chinese bike-sharing firms have cropped up since the beginning of 2016. Ofo and rival Mobike have emerged as front-runners with valuations exceeding $1 billion.

Ofo raised $450 million in a March D round from investors including DST Global, ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and CITIC's private equity arm. Dai said in April that the firm was valued at upwards of $2 billion.

Mobike raised $600 million in an E series round last week, taking their total funding since January to over $1 billion, which will be used to help expand, including into new markets such as Singapore, Japan and the UK. (Reporting by David Lin; Writing by Cate Cadell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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