End of road for SG Bike, users to be transferred to Anywheel, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

End of road for SG Bike, users to be transferred to Anywheel

Loss-making shared bicycle operator SG Bike will be exiting the Singapore market on April 30 when its licence expires, and its customer base will be ported over to rival Anywheel from March 21.

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

This will allow SG Bike users to continue using bike-sharing services “without obstruction”, said Anywheel’s founder and chief executive Htay Aung.

SG Bike will no longer accept new sign-ups, credit top-ups and purchase of passes from March 21.

Users who opt to convert their wallet balances between March 21 and April 21 at go.anywheel.sg/sgbike will receive complimentary $10 ride-only 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, but will not get a refund of their wallet balance.

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.

SG Bike entered the market in August 2017. In November 2019, it took over the now-defunct Mobike’s licence to operate 25,000 bicycles.

The company, which in July 2023 reduced its fleet size from 5,000 to 1,500, decided not to extend its licence due to a “strategic shift”.

It accumulated losses of $7.4 million in the financial year ended June 30, 2022, and had reported accumulated losses of $5.5 million the year before that.

A spokesman said it was a difficult decision to exit the market, but SG Bike was no longer able to continue providing its users with the “quality experience” as it had originally intended.

This leaves market leader Anywheel and Chinese firm HelloRide as the only two bike-sharing operators in Singapore. HelloRide, which began operations here in July 2022, was awarded a licence to operate a fleet of up to 10,000 shared bicycles in Singapore in July 2023.

Anywheel’s Mr Htay Aung said the takeover arrangement was “not commercial” in the sense that no fees were involved.

He said that after he learnt about SG Bike’s plans to change its business strategy, he encouraged SG Bike to pass its substantial number of users over to Anywheel, to allow users to continue using bike-sharing services “without obstruction”.

“The arrangement is made purely in consideration of the whole bike-sharing environment,” added Mr Htay Aung. “It is a win-win situation for both companies, as there is no disruption to the market and to all users.”

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 needs to grow its fleet as ridership has been growing month on month for the past four years, Mr Htay Aung said. He declined to disclose ridership figures.

SG Bike said it was grateful for the support it received over the years, and sought the understanding and cooperation of its users during the conversion period. It also encouraged its users to “explore the continued convenience of bike-sharing with Anywheel”.