Ofo Shuts Down Israeli Pilot
In a statement sent to Calcalist Sunday, the company said the move is part of a decision to focus on mature markets outside of China, such as the U.S. and Europe
Ofo launched its pilot in Israel in April in Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv, and at the Weizmann Institute of Science, a research university in central Israel. In June, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Ofo was ending its service at the Weizmann Institute because many users failed to return the bikes to campus, causing the company high retrieval costs. Later that month, Ramat Gan released data showing Ofo’s bikes are being used about 1,300 times a day in the town.
Ofo’s bikes do not require specific docking stations and can be parked anywhere and later traced using a mobile app. In July, Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba led a $700 million investment round in Ofo.
The Israeli bike-sharing market has several major players including Beijing Mobike Technology Co. Ltd. and Tel-O-Fun, run by the city of Tel Aviv.