Hello Inc. is heading for a public listing in the U.S. with an initial fundraising target of $100 million.
The bike-sharing platform, backed by Alibaba’s Ant Group, has submitted a prospectus to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for an IPO on Nasdaq, although it has not yet stated the number of shares it plans to offer.
The Shanghai-based startup has been unprofitable for the past three years. The company reported a net loss of $173.7 million for 2020 on revenue that jumped 25% to $926.3 million.
Formerly known as Hellobike, the firm was founded by Yang Lei and Li Kaizhu in 2016. Li said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in 2019 that startup had reached a valuation of about $5 billion. In recognition of Hello’s success, Yang was featured on the Forbes China 30 Under 30 list in 2017.
Hello’s prospectus says it was the No. 1 shared two-wheeler provider in China last year, according to iResearch. It competes in the bike-sharing market against Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing and on-demand services provider Meituan Dianping, which acquired Mobike in 2018 for $2.7 billion. Hello also offers other two-wheel options including electric bicycles and scooters.
Hello managed to survive China’s bike-sharing bubble between 2017 and 2018 when rivals like Ofo went into bankruptcy. The “survivor” had more than 10 million bicycles operating in over 400 mainland Chinese cities as of December 2020. The company said it had facilitated 5.1 billion bike and electric bike rides the same year, which generated 91% of its revenues.
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Hello’s backers include Alibaba’s fintech giant Ant Group, GGV Capital, Fosun International and Primavera Capital Group, among others.