Scooter-sharing Hype in Europe, a Déjà vu?

The hype that happened in the Chinese bicycle-sharing industry has been analyzed in various articles before. It had started out at a large scale somewhere around 2016 and at one point had more than 100 startups competing with more than 30 million shared bicycles across China while securing billions of USD in funding. Fast forward to April 2018, Meituan-Dianping acquired the company Mobike for USD 2.8 bn which it since has rebranded to Meituan Bike. That was probably the best outcome achieved by a shared bike player at least from the point of view of the founding team and early investors.

Even before the acquisition, pictures of bicycle-graveyards were shared frequently on the internet and news of deposit misuse due to funding squeezes became an unfortunate reality. Following several M&A activities and companies going out of business, the industry became an oligopoly consisting of Meituan Bike, Hellobike, and Didi. The prices for renting bicycles since then drastically increased from basically zero during the peak days.