SoftBank Group Corp is reportedly in talks to invest in Chinese bike-sharing start-up HelloTrans, formerly known as HelloBike, as the Japanese conglomerate bets on a market that has struggled with oversupply and tightening regulations.
SoftBank and Chinese company Primavera Capital will take part in a new round of funding for the bike-rental startup. The goal is supposedly to raise another USD 400 million for the unicorn, which a spokesman said is currently valued at over USD 2 billion.
HelloTrans, backed by Alibaba Group’s affiliate Ant Financial, is counted as China’s third largest bike-sharing player. It has managed to muscle out competition by targeting smaller cities.