Softbank launches in tandem with Ofo as bike-sharing comes to Japan

Oliver Gill
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Ofo operates across 170 cities worldwide

Mammoth technology conglomerate Softbank is to help launch a bike-sharing revolution in Japan.

Chinese firm Ofo, which was the first to pilot private bike-sharing in the UK, announced a tie-up with Softbank today.

A "large-scale deployment" of bikes will be rolled out in September across Tokyo and Osaka.

Ofo soft-launched in Cambridge for a limited time period earlier this year. It has subsequently been overtaken by rivals Obike and Mobike, which have rolled out more substantial offerings across London and Manchester.

Launched in 2014 Ofo was one of the first bike-sharing platforms, operating in 170 cities across seven countries.

Read more: On yer Mobike: Another cycle sharing scheme's arrived in London

The firm has raised hundreds of millions of pounds is eyeing a $3bn valuation, according to reports by Bloomberg.

“Launching in Japan is a huge milestone for Ofo," said Lawrence Cao, the firm's head of Asia and Pacific division.

"I envision great synergy between us and SoftBank and I have confidence that this partnership will pave the way for ofo’s business growth and transformation, enabling us to better cater to our users’ needs in Japan.”

Read more: London welcomes oBike, not Mobike... which denies having no bikes

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