As the whole world is watching China’s heated bike-sharing sector notably with ofo and Mobike as the market leaders, another sharing-economy business model may become the next big thing: power bank rentals.

Beijing-based Xiaodian on Monday raised RMB 100 millions (USD 14.5 million) in Series A financing led by tech giant Tencent and Vision Capital. It is worth noting the speed with which the company obtained financing. Within two weeks, it was able to land millions of USD in financing for both the angel and the Series A round financing. The financing was led by GSR Ventures and Wang Gang, both of which also invested in Didi Chuxing’s angel round.

It is crucial for players in the field to obtain as much financing as possible. The companies also need to act fast to capture the greatest market share by providing preferable services and prices to attract consumers. Players in China include aforementioned Xiaodian, Hidian, and Ankerbox.

Xiaodian’s shared power bank. Photo from Xiaodian.so
Xiaodian’s shared power bank. Photo from Xiaodian.so

Startups like Hidian have also raised considerable financing by focusing on the niche market of power bank rental, where users charge their smartphones after scanning a QR Code and paying online. Both Hidian and Xiaodian charge one RMB (14 cents USD) per hour.

Even though the price per order is low, investors are still interested. It makes sense when you factor in that of every 5 smartphone users in the world, one lives in China. In absolute numbers, that means at least 700 million users in the country alone.

Interestingly, the power bank rental battle imitates the heated bike-sharing race in many aspects. As with the bike-sharing sector, the power bank rental market too has the financial backing of the tech giants in China.

(Top photo from Pixabay.com)

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Heather Wang
Heather is a contributor at ACT. She is passionate about literature, photography and technology. She graduated from Shanghai University of International Business and Economics with a Master's Degree.

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