Amit Gupta, InMobi Co-founder. (Photographer : Nishant Sharma/BloombergQuint)

Yulu Launches Electric Scooters

Bicycle sharing startup Yulu launched electric scooters as it looks to provide short-distance commutes for users.

Yulu Miracle is a dock-less, lithium-powered scooter focusing on first- and last-mile connectivity—cover distances up to 5 km. It has a battery-swapping model that can forecast the demand and use of the vehicle using machine learning and artificial intelligence. Each scooter sends its battery charge percent to Yulu servers at regular intervals using internet of things hardware.

“It will change the game for micro-mobility in India,” Amit Gupta, co-founder of Yulu, told BloombergQuint in an interview.

Yulu joins the likes of global electric scooter ventures such as Lime and Bird. So far, it raised nearly $7 million in seed funding from investors, including Blume Ventures Advisors, 3One4 Capital, a Japanese family office and angel investors such as Flipkart Co-Founder Binny Bansal, InMobi Co-Founder Naveen Tewari and Mohit Saxena, Freshworks Co-Founder Girish Mathrubootham and SlideShare Founder Amit Ranjan.

The investment was used to customise the vehicles and add features such as airless special purpose tire, sensor lights and install QR code to unlock the vehicle using the Yulu app, Gupta said.

The startup, according to Gupta, will deploy 250 electric scooters in Bengaluru and aims to add 250-500 additional vehicles every week for the next eight to 10 weeks. It has 850 Yulu zones or parking areas in the city that will be used to keep the electric scooters as well. “We will also expand to Pune and Mumbai,” he said.

Bicycle-Sharing Model

Yulu aims to continue to offer both bicycles and electric scooters.

This comes at a time the bicycle-sharing model faced certain headwinds in the country. Car rental startup Zoomcar that launched its bicycle-sharing platform PEDL halted its services last year. Chinese bike-sharing startup ofo rolled back its operations in the country. Ola’s bicycle rental push did not take off. Also, bicycle sharing platform Mobycy pivoted to launch electric scooters in India last year.

Gupta said three to four of its bicycle-sharing clusters are profitable. “It’s all about density. Once you get the critical mass in a cluster, you get economy of scale and business model starts to make sense.”

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