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Homegrown bike-sharing firm SG Bike will be exiting the Singapore market on April 30 once its license expires due to a “strategic shift in business direction”.

From today (March 21), SG Bike will no longer accept new sign-ups, credit top-ups and purchases of passes, and its customer base will be ported over to Anywheel, one of the two remaining bike-sharing players in Singapore.

In the arrangement between the two companies, SG Bike users will be able to convert their existing wallet balance to the Anywheel platform, which will be reflected on the app by May 3 or earlier when they log on using the same registered mobile number. 

According to Anywheel’s founder and CEO Htay Aung, this will allow SG Bike users to continue using bike-sharing services “without obstruction”.

Users who opt to convert their wallet balances between March 21 and April 21 will receive complimentary S$10 credits on top of their existing balance. The converted balances can be used only for rides. 

Those who do not wish to join Anywheel can opt out by April 30 via the SG Bike app. However, there will be no refund issued for the remaining balance in their wallet.

SG Bike accumulated losses of S$7.4M in FY 2021/22

SG Bike
Image Credit: SG Bike

According to a spokesperson from SG Bike, the decision to exit the market was challenging. However, after “carefully reviewing its resources”, the company found itself unable to sustain the level of “quality experience” it had initially aimed to provide for its users. 

We trust that our users will continue to enjoy a quality bike sharing experience with Anywheel and we express our most sincere gratitude to our users, Land Transport Authority, partners, and colleagues for the kind support and understanding of this decision.

We believe Anywheel will continue on our shared mission to grow bike sharing as a sustainable and accessible transportation, providing a convenient and green transport alternative for everyone in Singapore, and we wish them all the best.

– An SG Bike spokesperson on the bike-sharing firm’s exit

SG Bike made its debut in Singapore in August 2017 and grew to become the largest player in the market after taking over the now-defunct Mobike’s license to operate 25,000 bicycles in 2019. However, over a period of time, the inherited bicycles from Mobike were removed or scrapped for various reasons including vandalism, theft, damage, and old age.

Although new SG Bike bicycles were brought in, the firm eventually had to decrease its license size to align with market demand and operational requirements. By July 2023, its fleet size was down to 1,500 bicycles.

Furthermore, SG Bike had also been loss-making between its 2020 and 2022 financial years. Based on its most recent financial data, the company accumulated losses of S$7.4 million for the financial year ending June 30, 2022, following losses of S$5.5 million in the preceding year.

In December 2022, SG Bike’s previous previous parent company, ISOTeam, sold its entire 48 per cent stake in the firm to a fund managed by Atlas Asset Management.

Anywheel and HelloRide are only remaining bike-sharing players in Singapore

In 2017, Singapore started seeing a bike-sharing boom. Many Chinese firms emerged into the scene, before local players started joining the race. 

At its peak, nine bike-sharing companies were operational in Singapore — oBike, ofo, Mobike, SG Bike, GBikes, ShareBikeSG, Baicycle, Anywheel and Moov Technology — offering a total of more than 200,000 shared bicycles.

However, the bike-sharing landscape quickly got ugly. Since these dockless bike-sharing services exploded onto the streets, indiscriminate parking and vandalism became rampant. It was equally as messy on the operators’ end — several companies made some dramatic exits, from bankruptcies to abandoned operations. 

SG Bike’s departure leaves market leader Anywheel and Chinese firm HelloRide as the remaining two bike-sharing operators Singapore.

HelloRide entered the Singaporean market in July 2022 and secured a license in July 2023 to operate a fleet of up to 10,000 shared bicycles in the city-state until June 30, 2025.

Meanwhile, Anywheel, which received approval to operate up to 30,000 shared bicycles in June 2022 – the largest fleet approved since a licensing scheme started in 2018 – intends to get approval to increase its fleet size. 

Even without the addition of users from SG Bike’s customer base, Anywheel’s Htay shared that the company needs to grow its fleet as ridership has been growing month on month for the past four years. As of February 2024, the bike-sharing platform boasts over 1.3 million users.

Anywheel will not take over SG Bike’s fleet of bicycles, which will be cleared off the streets for scrapping by the end of June. 

Featured Image Credit: Anywheel

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Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)