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Japanese unicorn Mercari charging into bike-sharing

Flea market app operator pedals into the real world

Mercari announced the Merchari bike-sharing service in Tokyo on Feb. 13. (Photo by Keiichiro Sato)

TOKYO -- Mercari, whose popular flea market app made it Japan's first unicorn, is set to branch out into the brick-and-mortar sphere with a new bike-sharing service. 

The Tokyo-based startup is included in "The Global Unicorn Club," venture capital database CB Insights' list of private companies valued at more than $1 billion. On Tuesday, Mercari said it will release a mobile app on Feb. 27 to launch the bike-sharing service in the southwestern Japanese city of Fukuoka. A fleet of 400 bicycles will be available.

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