Ofo, the renowned bike-sharing company based in China, recently declared plans of dialing down its operations in North America. Sources close to the matter revealed that the startup has let go of employees from the marketing, engineering, communications and other teams across the region, as it attempts to cut back a significant portion of its U.S. operations. The layoffs are reportedly a part of the global retreat for the company, which had earlier cut its operations in several regions including UK and India.
Ofo said it does not plan to leave the U.S. entirely, but is concentrating more on other markets that could become profitable. The firm will continue operations in some U.S. cities which include San Diego, Seattle and New York where recently, it was invited to take part in a pilot for dockless bike-sharing in the Bronx.
The new head of Ofo’s North America operations, Andrew Daley stated the company is prioritizing its U.S. business around those markets which will enable it to maximize growth and help to serve the Ofo experience to communities.
As per records, Ofo was among the first dockless bike-sharing startups to enter the U.S. and straight up challenged the existing docked bike services like the Ford GoBike in San Francisco and Citi Bike in New York. Chris Taylor, the former Ofo’s head for North America, had mentioned earlier in the year, that where a docked bike company usually spent $80,000 to $100,000 for setting up a single dock and almost $1,500 to $ 2,000 on each bike, Ofo only spent around $200 per bike.
A week ago, Ofo had announced its intentions to depart from Australia and Israel, whereas reports suggest it has already left the German market. Sources further confirmed that Ofo has pulled back operations in the U.K. and also had laid off its employees in India near the start of this month.