(From left) Hemant Gupta, Naveen Dachuri, RK Misra, and Amit Gupta, the cofounders of Yulu Bikes, Bengaluru
Image: Nishant Ratnakar
Bajaj Auto Ltd is investing $8 million in Yulu Bikes, an electric bikes-based last-mile bike rental services provider in Bengaluru. Yulu will source electric two-wheelers from Bajaj, which have been co-designed and manufactured exclusively for shared micro-mobility. Bajaj may also help Yulu fund its vehicle procurement for large-scale deployment in Indian cities.
Founder Amit Gupta started Yulu in 2017 with three others with the aim of tackling the twin problems of vehicular congestion and emission pollution in India’s large cities. Yulu initially started with bicycles, but started putting specifically designed electric two-wheelers on the roads in February.
By June, the venture had an inventory of 3,000 electric scooters of which it had deployed 800 in three locations in Bengaluru. With money from Bajaj, Yulu expects to deepen its platform technology and take the number of electric bikes to 100,000 by December next year. It also plans to build a network of battery-swapping stations across the cities where it will operate. Yulu aims to expand to eight cities in the country.
“Succeeding in the shared micro-mobility business is incumbent upon creating winning partnerships to ensure assured supply of high-quality electric vehicles in large numbers,” Gupta said in a press release. “Therefore, a committed manufacturing partner is crucial to our success. In Bajaj, Yulu finds this strategic partnership and it is a win-win relationship.”
Gupta added, “Yulu’s electric two-wheelers will help commuters with the first- and last-mile connectivity option. This partnership aims to solve the mobility challenges of urban India in an eco-friendly manner.”
With its Internet of Things-enabled electric vehicles fleet and machine-learning-based network intelligence, Yulu is tackling the demand-supply problem and growing its footprint in a sustainable manner.
“Congestion reduction and pollution control will drive the segment of shared micro-mobility in the future. That coupled with the expansion of mass rapid transport systems like metro rails in large cities will further boost the demand for flexible last-mile connectivity,” Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, said in the press release.
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(This story appears in the 20 December, 2019 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)