Seize, Uber’s chief rival throughout Southeast Asia, seems to be entering into bike-sharing after plans for a joint service with oBike surfaced in Singapore.
Final week, an eagle-eyed resident in Singapore shared pictures of Seize Cycle bikes — which present an oBike emblem, too — being loaded right into a van. Seize declined to remark once we requested about an integration, however it wouldn’t be an enormous shock since it’s an investor in oBike, as we reported again final 12 months, and also you’d anticipate there to be a strategic component to that relationship.
The businesses did, nevertheless, announce at the moment that oBike will combine GrabPay, Seize’s cell cost service, into its app. There was additionally a heavy trace at different imminent collaborations.
“The 2 tech corporations are additionally working intently along with extra joint initiatives within the pipeline to enhance the on-demand transport infrastructure in Singapore. Particulars of those initiatives shall be revealed within the coming weeks,” oBike stated in a press release.
It seems like the mixing will occur first in Singapore, primarily based on what we’ve seen, however oBike is current in different markets in Southeast Asia so there’s potential for a wider rollout.
oBike has raised over $50 million from traders and it claims 10 million customers. Spectacular although these numbers are, they pale into comparability compared with Chinese language unicorns Ofo and Mobike, which have raised near $2 billion collectively and expanded to 200 cities worldwide every.
Seize’s tie-in with oBike follows a development of ride-hailing corporations embracing bikes, and it is fascinating on just a few ranges.
For one, oBike competes with Ofo and Mobike, whereas Ofo itself is backed by Didi Chuxing… which is an investor in Seize, too. The Didi-Ofo relationship hasn’t labored out too effectively, with Didi final week launching a service aimed toward containing the risk that Ofo poses to its ride-hailing service, however Seize will hope for higher.
Secondly, there’s an ICO angle. oBike is pushing forward with a deliberate token sale by means of an alliance with controversial crypto undertaking Tron.
Tron noticed its TRX digital forex surge over 500 p.c in every week to achieve a complete market cap of $16 billion earlier this month, turning into a prime 10 cryptocurrency within the course of, regardless of little to no proof of an precise product. The worth of TRX — which is purportedly a platform for the leisure trade — slide from round $zero.24 to $zero.072 as of at the moment after it emerged that Tron had plagiarized ICO undertaking FileCoin and Ethereum to develop its whitepaper and tech.
It’s unclear whether or not Seize, and different oBike traders, are supportive of the ICO, which TechCrunch understands is scheduled to happen someday in Q1 2017.
Uber doesn’t at the moment provide bike-sharing however its head of Asia informed TechCrunch final 12 months that it’s trying into choices within the house.
Notice: Article up to date to appropriate the truth that Seize and oBike didn’t announce a bike-sharing integration. The writer could have been a bit too eager on that.