Real founder of oBike is Shi Yi, a multimillionaire. S'poreans, collect your S$49 refund from him.

He visits Singapore from time to time.

Belmont Lay | June 26, 2018, 07:12 PM

Possibly tens of thousands of people in Singapore cannot get their S$49 deposit refunded back by oBike. Ever.

And if there is a manhunt for the people behind this failed bicycle-sharing platform to retrieve some money after conveniently leaving everyone high and dry, a few names have been thrown up, besides co-founder Edward Chen.

Chen, who is based in Shanghai, told Today that oBike in Singapore is in liquidation.

oBike real founder

Based on publicly-available information, the trail for who is responsible has led to the real oBike founder, Shi Yi.

◘ The real founder behind oBike is this guy, Shi Yi.

◘ He has been interviewed by The Straits Times and Business Times in 2017.

◘ These are his Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles.

◘ Shi is 29 years old this year.

◘ He has openly shared his involvement with oBike.


Via this video:

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◘ But according to a tip-off, he has removed the status of being the founder of oBike from his LinkedIn profile. He is now just listed as an oBike investor.

◘ He is a frequent visitor of Singapore.

◘ He was here for the F1 night race in 2017.


◘ His interview with ST was conducted at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Singapore.

◘ He is married and has a child.

◘ He has been on Forbes' list of the 30 most important entrepreneurs under the age of 30 in China since 2014.

◘ He is the founder of DotC United Group, which has several global business platforms: Digital advertising, mobile games, app development as well as an investment fund for mobile start-ups.

◘ Shi told ST: "If you have accumulated enough, you are just keeping it for other people. When you have more money than you can use in your life, you should think about using it to better society and other people's lives."

◘ Born in Shanghai, but raised in Germany after he was 11.

◘ He can speak German.

◘ He made money building websites.

◘ By the time he was 16, he had built more than 30 websites, earning thousands of dollars a month in advertising.

◘ Asked how much he was making during his university years, he told ST: "I can't disclose but it was a lot of money. It's not good to write that in the newspapers."

◘ He quit university in 2009.

◘ In August 2009, he started Avazu Advertising, which offered multiple mobile advertising platforms for performance-oriented advertisers in a small office opposite Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

◘ Shanghai Jiao Tong University is where oBike co-founder Edward Chen is from.

◘ In 2013, Shi set up Avazu Holding that deals in mobile advertising and branched into other areas, including mobile game development and publishing.

◘ Shi reportedly made his first millions with Avazu.

◘ In 2015, Avazu merged with public-listed entertainment company Zeus Entertainment in a 2.08 billion yuan (S$426 million) deal.

◘ Not long after that, Shi started Dotc United Group that develops utility apps globally before joining oBike in December 2016.

◘ In June 2015, Avazu was privatised and injected into Dotc United.

◘ Since then, oBike has penetrated 11 markets, including South Korea, Britain and Australia. It secured US$45 million in Series B funding in 2017.

◘ Shi told ST he was well aware that there are detractors who think bike-sharing is a money-losing proposition and that oBike is cycling towards failure.

◘ History, he said, has shown that the business models of great companies are often not understood.

◘ Shi told ST: "Nobody understood 20 years ago what Google was doing. And nobody knew 10 years ago what Facebook wanted to become."

"But I have full confidence in what I'm doing. We have a long-term vision. We want to better the lives of our users with our technology and promote an eco-friendly mode of transportation," he says.


◘ When ST asked how he stays sharp, Shi replied: "You must always feel that you are skating on thin ice. If you don't have this feeling, you won't get the push to move things forward faster."

"It's a bad sign if you feel the ground beneath you is frozen solid. It means your company is getting more complicated in structure and you are moving slower. It also means you are not sensitive any more and will lose opportunities."

"And if you're not careful, you may end up being disrupted by people in your own space, or outside of it."

◘ He is also a narcissist. In 2015, Shi started the Shi Yi Foundation for Innovation at Goethe University, naming it after himself.