Bicycle Sharing, Imported from China

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Chinese bicycle-sharing company Ofo has opened a branch in Israel and intends to do for bicycling what others have done for ride-sharing.

Ofo offers an app which enables customers to pick and deposit bicycles at any point, rather than having to return them to designated stations, by scanning a QR code for unlocking and locking it. The app can also be used for monitoring use of the bicycles, routes travelled, and so on.

Imri Galai, a former Gett executive, was appointed general manager of Ofo Israel, the company announced on Monday.

Ofo has raised $1.3 billion to date to finance expansion plans in Israel and elsewhere. Besides in China, the company operates branches in 250 cities around the world, including in the U.K., the U.S., Spain and Italy. It boasts over 200 million active users.

The company has already conducted successful pilot programs at Bar Ilan University and in Herzliya.

In other investment news, the South Korean Minigood chain is looking seriously at setting up in Israel, sources inform Globes. The company has hundreds of stores in Asia, including Malaysia and Singapore.

The company manufactures and markets bags and clothing, household goods, personal care and cosmetic products, office equipment, digital products, and toys. According to the chain’s website, the company’s activity is projected to reach 2,000 stores and a sales turnover of over $1 billion worldwide by 2020.

Minigood plans to open at least 10 outlets in Israel in the first two years, including three in 2018.