Hellobike is talks to raise $400m in an Ant Financial-led round that could increase the bicycle rental platform's valuation to $5bn.

China-based bicycle rental service Hellobike is in talks to raise $400m in a funding round led by Ant Financial, the financial services affiliate of e-commerce firm Alibaba, TechNode has reported.

The other investors in the round have not been disclosed but it is expected to value the company at approximately $5bn, TechNode said, citing Chinese media reports. It was reported in March this year to be looking to raise up to $1bn in its next round.

Hellobike provides a rental service that enables more than 200 million registered users to use and pay for bikes for short trips.

Electric vehicle producer WM Motor, diversified conglomerate Fosun and Bertelsmann Asia Investments (BAI), a corporate venturing subsidiary of media group Bertelsmann, were among 15 investors that divested their stakes in Hellobike in April this year, according to a regulatory filing seen by KrAsia.

A source familiar with the matter told Beijing News the deal was part of a restructuring process, though it is not clear when or at what price those investors sold their stakes.

Ant Financial remains a shareholder in Hellobike having co-led a $582m round in December 2018 with investment firm Primavera Capital Group that reportedly valued the company at $2.3bn.

Fosun provided $321m in funding for Hellobike in June 2018 at a $1.47bn valuation, two months after joining Ant Financial in a $700m series E1 round.

Ant Financial had previously invested alongside WM Motor, Fosun subsidiary Fosun Capital, GGV Capital and Chengwei Capital in Hellobike’s $503m series D round in late 2017. WM Motor had initially supplied a nine-figure renminbi (RMB100m = $14.7m) amount for the company earlier in the year.