Is Grab moving to dock-less bikes? New move says so

Grab quietly funded Singapore's bike-sharing service oBike in a bid to enter the booming transportation system.

grab and obike in singapore
The logo of YouBike, a bicycle sharing system, is seen in a station in Taipei, Taiwan 31 August 2017 (Tyrone Siu/File Photo/Reuters)

Ride-hailing company Grab inconspicuously invested in dock-less bike-sharing service oBike, prompting speculation that the Southeast Asian startup will soon be adding bicycles to its service. The source familiar with the matter tells a publication that Grab is part of oBike's recent US$45m Series B round.

Grab has remained silent about the reports stating that the company had invested in oBike in August. A TechCrunch report on Thursday first revealed that the ride-hailing service is moving to a new transportation space in a quest to amplify its influence around Southeast Asia.

Also read: Bike-sharing market in Asia sees rapid surge

Backing oBike under the radar seemed the way to go for Grab at this time before it was revealed to be a part of the US$45m funding for Singapore's oBike. The service is now running in 30 different cities around the world, making it one of the most popular bike-sharing services.

As of press time, Grab has not returned a request for comment. Meanwhile, oBike also refused to comment on Grab's involvement in the latest funding round. Until now, it remains a mystery why Grab officials would not want to disclose the company as one of the new backers of oBike.

Grab recently acquired Jakarta-based startup, Kudos, which helped the company GrabPay, to the tune of US$80-US$100m.

oBike is a direct competitor of Beijing-based Ofo, which is backed by Didi Chuxing, among others. Didi is an investor of Grab.

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