Japanese messaging app Line has invested in bike sharing company Mobike in a bid to bolster the growth of bikesharing in Japan.
Line has taken a minority stake in Mobike’s Japanese subsidiary, Mobike Japan, as part of a Series A round of investment.
The deal will see Mobike’s service integrated into the Line app, enabling the messaging app’s 71 million users to sign up and pay for their rides in-app.
The two companies will also work closely to develop a series of initiatives to promote bikesharing in Japan. The strategic partnership aims to use local talent and experience to help drive Mobike’s global strategy to integrate into the local markets through partnerships with local governments and city councils.
Mobike Japan is led by general manager Noboru Kinoshita, who previously worked for Japan’s largest docked bikeshare, DocomoBIKE.
Mobike will roll out in Fukuoka this week and has already launched in Sapporo.
Hu Weiwei, founder and president of Mobike, said, “Line is the clear leader in Japan’s social media space, with a strong culture of innovation and creativity, and therefore, is the perfect partner to support our ambitious growth plans in Japan.”
Takeshi Idezawa, president and CEO of Line Corporation, said, “The Line messenger app is used as a communications tool by more than 71 million monthly users in Japan. Through this capital investment and strategic business partnership with Mobike, we can support the expansion of Mobike’s service in Japan by leveraging our network of local governments and private companies that make use of our various activities and services.”