If you’re riding on an Ofo bike in Revere, Quincy or Worcester, cherish it – might be the last time you see Ofo around Mass.
Dockless bike company Ofo is leaving Mass. and a bunch of other U.S. locations including Atlanta and Austin but continue to maintain operations in Seattle, San Diego and New York.
Until this week, Ofo, a Chinese company with $2.2 billion in investor funding, operated a bike-sharing program in Quincy with about 250 bikes. But on Wednesday, Ofo abruptly decided to shut down services and laid off 70 percent of their workforce as part of a corporate-wide restructuring.
The company officially launched in Mass. in the summer of 2017 and offered free rides as a way to acquire consumers in a highly competitive bikeshare market with strong rivals like Lime and Spin. Ofo aspired to reach 300,000 bikes on U.S. streets by year-end 2018. Ofo will also exit out of other international markets including Germany, Australia, India and Israel.
“As we continue to bring bikeshare to communities across the globe, Ofo has begun to reevaluate markets that present obstacles to new, green transit solutions, and prioritize growth in viable markets that support alternative transportation and allow us to continue to serve our customers,” Andrew Daley, Ofo’s Head of North America, said in a prepared statement.
But as Ofo exits, Somerville and Cambridge says hello to Bird scooters. Strap on your helmets.