The Bangalore-based electric bike-sharing platform, Yulu, declared it won the support Bajaj Auto, which is one of the country’s largest automakers. It also has a partnership with Uber.
The two-year-old company has revealed that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Bajaj Auto that has funded Yulu’s $8 million Series A financing round. Amit Gupta, the co-founder and chief executive of Yulu was quoted in an interview saying that Bajaj is co-design and manufacture future generation of Yulu two-wheelers, as part of the partnership.
Mr Gupta also said that Yulu has earned about $18.5 million from VCs to date and also that it has raised money in debt but revealed not the figure. The company started giving services in Bengaluru and then it entered portions of New Delhi and Mumbai.
The startup maintains over 3000 electric bikes on its platform. A customer who needs not a driving license can rent the bike Yulu’s app for 14 cents for every hour and then park it at the nearest zone.
As per his statement, Yulu is planning to have 100,000 two-wheelers in its fleet by the end of next year. And that is where its partnership with Bajaj Auto will become handy. Currently, the startup depends on its Chinese original design manufacturer partners to build its bikes.
He said that manufacturing care will be taken by Bajaj Auto that has decades of experience building two-wheelers in the nation. “They clearly have much better understanding of the Indian context,” he said.
Last month, Bajaj Auto announced that is was bringing back a decades-old sleeper hit scooter model Chetak, only this time it would run on electric. “They know the micro-mobility and share-mobility spaces. The partnership is bringing together the combined learning of building Yulu network and operational learning of Chetak,” he said.
Rajiv Bajaj, the Managing Director of Bajaj said in a statement, “in Yulu we find an experienced and committed partner with robust achievement of success metrics in a very short time. And this is why we decided to partner with them in their journey of bringing Yulu service to every neighborhood of Urban India.”
Yulu will soon be expanding its business in the country. It has secured permission to offer electric bikes at 250 subway stations, in Delhi. Mr Gupta was quoted saying, “We are already servicing in nine of those.”
“We work through clusters. So we deploy about 1000 vehicles and set up 200 to 300 parking stations and 25 to 30 charging stations. We have been able to replicate this cluster model in many places,” he added.
The bikes can ride as fast as 25 kmph and cover 60 km in one charging cycle. Though the number of taxi services has rapidly increased in the country, the market for two-wheeler has also grown. The increasing traffic congestion in the major cities in India will be maintained by the two-wheeler that seem to have a brighter future in the country. Mr Gupta further said that partnership with Uber has chugged along smoothly and they may extend it soon.