Saga Of A 20 Year Old Entrepreneur Who Kicked Her Career With Bike Rentals
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Two wheeler rental aggregation is an untapped market. Motorcycle rental marketed is largely an unorganized space which presents great value not just for commuters but also for people looking at recreational use of motorcycles. Sensing the need to organized this unorganized market, the trio, Pranay Shrivastava, Moksha Srivastava and Mritunjay Kumar founded Wheelstreet in November 2014.
Operated under Bashar Technologies Pvt. Ltd, startup is a online bike rentals aggregator. Wheelstreet offers two-wheelers ranging from gearless scooters like the active to tourers like the Royal Enfields to superbikes such as the Harley Davidson, Kawasaki Ninjas and Suzuki Hayabusas.
Recently, startup has secured $0.5 million from Broadbean Capital services Pvt Ltd, an early-stage seed and pre-series A venture fund.
Entrepreneur India interacted with Moksha Srivastava, one of the founders, to know more about their funding deal and how they managed to crack it.
Bitten by the Entrepreneurship bug
I am a Mass communication graduate from Delhi, Whereas Pranay and Mritunjay are both engineers who studied in Bhopal and Delhi. After a short gap of a few years, we three met up in Delhi, where one conversation led to another and soon we were discussing the business model for Wheelstreet. We three always had a special interest in entrepreneurship and would jokingly discuss a lot of business ideas but had never thought we would be entrepreneurs one day. Coming from families that have been bureaucrats for generations we honestly had never imagined it.
Organizing the unorganised market
The idea is a product of personal experience. Pranay in Bhopal had a bike which he used to rent out to his friends to make a quick buck. I, on the other hand was at the other end of the transaction in Delhi. With no mode of transport, I used to rent out a scooty for myself on weekends and the experience almost always was pretty disappointing. With unavailability of scooters, bad service quality and unexplained deductions I experienced a lot of trouble finding the right vendor and scooter. The next time we three met we realised that there is big gap between the customer and vendor in this sector. The whole bike rental market was highly disorganised sector with no set service standards. The whole idea of Wheelstreet was conceptualised to organise this sector and standardise procedures for a better experience both for the customer as well as the vendor.
Funds rolling in
We have closed two rounds of funding with the recent one being $0.5 million from Broadbean capital services Pvt Ltd. We plan to use this funding to expand our base to other cities as well as developing more technology.
The fact that Wheelstreet is the first online bike rental aggregator platform and the fact that there is tremendous potential in this sector with most of it being unorganised, played a major role. Along with this the technology that we have incorporated into this model and the way we have dealt with potential loop holes has helped us gain a better footing.
Vibrant office culture
We have a current team size of about 15 employees. At Wheelstreet, employees are highly engaged in everything. We follow open channels of communication where employees are highly involved in decision making, brainstorming and solving problems together.
Even when things are going wrong, we take extra care to speak to employees as equals and solve their challenges one by one. Flexibility, innovation and a high sense of team spirit from the founders keeps the employees going.
We also have a lot of fun elements at our workplace and employees are encouraged to take breaks, socialize, rejuvenate themselves and get back to work.
Your biggest learning from your mentor
My mentor in this journey is Pranay Shrivastava and my friend Pankhuri (co-founder of Grabhouse.com). Both of them have been an integral part of this journey and mentored me at every stage. From Pankhuri I have learned how to manage multiple things in the best way possible and keep reading whatever comes in front. She is an avid reader and this habit of hers motivates me to read and learn.
Addressing the loopholes
Since we are first in this space there is nothing that gave us sleepless nights but the real time availability is something that we wanted to happen to the people and vendor. We wanted to ease the process for both of them and with technology we were able to do it. We introduced real time availability where riders can book bike from any location even before 1 hour of their trip.
Your future scale-up plans
We are planning to expand in other cities of India. We have Pune, Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Manali, Rajasthan, Chennai and Mumbai in our list after the launch of our app which we are releasing in first week of April.
Changes have you experienced in your own self after taking plunge
Since I am only 22, I feel that this is the age to learn as much as possible from as many people as you can. I have seen drastic change in myself as I have become more responsible towards everyone in my life, be it business, employees or family. Wheelstreet happened to me like a life changing experience.