After direct most serious competitor Mobike was purchased by Meituan - a group-buying application specializing in localized consumer services, offering a selection of local restaurants, bars as well as food delivery backed by Tencent group - OFO decided to stay away from an offer from Didi.
Remaining independent from big players is indeed a very hard decision to make in such competitive environment where every startuper’s dream is to join either Alibaba or Tencent legacies.
This bold move had impact on OFO top management, and also on their global revenue generation strategy. Mature market with new consumers hard to acquire as well as stricter rules for operating on public areas are two main issues that bike sharing companies have to face in the short term to remain profitable and maximise their value when they go for IPO.
Using bikes to promote ads or selling ads directly to users may improve profitability if hopefully it does not convey negative image of their brand.
Maturity on bike sharing market is on its way, let’s see how far it gets !