China’s bike share craze has seen its first casualty. Bluegogo, who has successfully received funding of approximately $119 million has reported to have gone bankrupt and its CEO fleeing the country.g
Bluegogo, which ranked in the top three share bike companies at the start of the year burnt through 600 million yuan ($119 million) in venture capital churning out bikes, leaving an empty office behind.
After much commotion and protests from stakeholders, Founder of Bluegogo, Li Gang finally authored an open letter on November 16th stating that the Bluegogo has reached a strategic cooperation with Guangzhou-based Green Bike-Transit (拜客出行). Green Bike-Transit will be fully authorized to operate the Bluegogo.
About the unpaid salary to Bluegogo employees, Li Gang also said, “Owing to everyone’s salary, I will try my best to solve it as soon as possible.”
Li Gang is not only the co-founder of Bluegogo but also the founder of SpeedX (野兽骑行). After Li Gang’s first smart performance bike SpeedX received RMB 150 million series B funding in November 2016, Gang established bike rental startup Bluegogo.
On Chinese social media, bike users complained they couldn’t get their 99 yuan ($19.65) deposits returned. Several reports claimed the company’s human resources department was selling off the furniture at its glitzy headquarters in Beijing through WeChat.
Bluegogo was the first share bike company to launch overseas, in San Francisco, and had 700,000 bikes on Chinese streets before its collapse.