[Funding Alert] This Start-up Is Making Daily Commute Hassle-Free and Environment Friendly
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Discussions around deployment of electric vehicles and need of shared mobility have increased more than ever. Several parts of the country are witnessing increasing levels of pollution and traffic congestions causing daily hassle for people. In a bid to solve the problems, many mobility solutions providing start-ups have come up to find an easier and hassle-free way to commute.
Bengaluru-based bike rental company Bounce is one such start-up providing smart mobility solution. The dockless bike rental start-up has now made it to the headlines after reportedly raising $97 million (INR 692.39 crore) in its Series D funding round. According to reports, the round was led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital fund B Capital. With this, the company is now valued at $450 million.
The funding round also saw participation from Omidyar Network, Vistra ITCL, SCI Investments, Qualcomm Ventures and existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners India and Chiratae Partners.
This funding comes in after media reports from November 2019 revealed that the company was in talks with B Capital and Accel Partners for raising $150 million in Series D funding round. The reports also revealed that Bounce has plans to deploy the funding to expand its services across 10 more Indian cities. The start-up is also reportedly looking to join hands with state and central government for providing first and last-mile connectivity.
How Bounce Is Solving Commute Hassles
Bounce (previously known as Metro Bikes) was founded in 2014 by Vivekananda HR, Varun Agni and Anil G. According to reports, it provides bike rental service where users can rent premium motorcycles under the brand name Wicked Rides and commuter bikes under the Bounce brand.
Users can download the app on their mobiles and book a ride on the app. They will pick up the nearest bike and enter the given OTP to unlock the vehicle. Using the OTP technology, the start-up removed the need of keys and also made renting bikes simpler and devoid of physical intervention.
Prior to this in June 2019, Bounce had raised $72 million Series C round and was then valued at $200 million. Earlier, the company had also raised $4.45 million from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal’s BAC Acquisitions.
According to media reports, the start-up currently owns around 13,000 two-wheelers in Bengaluru and has already established operation in 355 cities across the country. In October 2019, Bounce crossed 100,000 daily rides in Bengaluru.
Bike-Rental Market in India
According to a recent study by Germany-based electric scooter manufacturer Unu, India’s fleet size of bike-rental apps is over 15,000 vehicles which is higher than the US and other western countries. Globally, bike rental fleet more than doubled in size from 25,000 to 66,000 vehicles in 2019.
Apart from Bounce, the market is dominated by some other notable players such as Yulu, Vogo, Tazzo Bikes and ONN Bikes.
Last year in November, while speaking with Entrepreneur India at an industry event, Yulu co-founder and CEO Amit Gupta that the future of mobility is now becoming smart and shared. He believes that the solution not only lies in shared-mobility but also the size of the vehicles needs to be reduced in order to reduce congestion on roads.