We just mentioned that ofo is trying its best to survive and chart an independent path. An important part of that is to … monetise its user base.

One successful attempt of doing so is a loan marketplace. On the ofo app, the user opt to ‘borrow money’. The app will redirect them to a page listing a number of loan services they can pick from.


I want to borrow money

Of course, these services all come from third parties, and Ofo is a lead generation platform for them.

Easy money

In June 2018, ofo claimed to have close to 30 million active users. At a monthly conversion rate of 0.1%, 30,000 users will use the borrowing service.

The acquisition cost for each successful loan application, called CPA (cost per application), in China has grown astronomically over the last 2 years, from about CNY5 (US$0.73) to as much as CNY 200 (almost US$30).

That translates into a revenue of up to CNY 6 million (US$ 880k) per month – at almost zero cost.

And if the the conversion increases to 0.5%, the revenue increases to up to US$4.4 million.

Probably still a small amount to fund their huge operations, but nonetheless a good way to reduce their losses.

In addition

Of course, ofo can also choose to generate leads for other services, such as ecommerce. Alas, these will not be as straight forward and lucrative as loans.

One way, though, is doing the same that Pinduoduo does (one yuan treasure hunt). That, however, would risk making them too prickly in the eyes of the authorities.

Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].


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He has worn many hats in the past - selling advertising space, banking services, and even trading stocks. In 2013, longing for a change of scenery, he joined Rocket Internet’s (now Alibaba’s) Lazada as a online marketer in Bangkok, where he experienced first hand life in a startup. He never looked back since - landing lead roles at Rocket’s EasyTaxi (Singapore), Rocket’s MEIG (Dubai), and Bamilo (Tehran). After that, he launched (and ran) the Thai venture for one of Singapore’s biggest cross-border ecommerce. Last year, Chong put his expertise to work, helping an SGX-listed company relocate to and run operations in Thailand. Nowadays, he’s just chilling by the countryside.