This Motorcycle Lover Turned His Passion Into Business
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When Anil G. could not afford to buy a luxury motorcycle, he founded a company called WickedRide Adventure Services Pvt. Ltd, in 2014. The start-up, which rented out Hayabusas, among other luxury motorcycles, could not scale rapidly but Anil with his co-founder saw another business opportunity in last-mile connectivity.
“When Bangalore’s (Bengaluru) Metro train started operating, we saw it was difficult for people to find auto rickshaws or other public transport from Metro stations to their homes,” Anil said in an interview. With WickedRide Adventure’s co-founders—schoolmate Vivekananda Hallekere, and friend Varun Agni— Anil founded Bounce, formerly known as Metro Bikes. Hallekere serves as chief executive officer (CEO) and Agni chief technology officer at the firm.
Founded in 2014, the start-up would park their signature yellow bikes and scooter fleet outside Metro stations, in Bengaluru. People could pick up any two-wheeler and drop it wherever they seem fit. Their app will then detect available two-wheeler for a new rider just like Uber's app detects unoccupied cabs.
The dockless system came into exsistence when customers were finding it difficult to drop two-wheelers at particular stations. The start-up developed a patented a keyless technology that helps in supporting the dockless infrastructure.
"The innovations around the keyless mechanism of using a scooter coupled with other IOT modifications, make Bounce very unique," said Anand Daniel, partner at Accel Partners, one of the investors in Bounce, in a statement released by Bounce.
With about 15,000 motorcycles and scooters in its fleet, the start-up currently has 40 per cent first- and last-mile customers. Till date, Bounce has clocked over 16 million rides with more than 120,000 rides per day. Operational in Bengaluru and Hydrerabad, the yellow two-wheelers will soon be seen across other Indian cities.
“Picking up a scooter from any location and riding it to your destination was an alien concept. Initially, people would not just pick up our bikes and start riding them. There was a lot of education that had to be done,” said Anil.
In 2018, with about 200 million two-wheelers on road, the rental mobility space saw major attention from investors. Apart from Bounce, bike-taxi start-up Rapido had raised funds from Pawan Munjal, Hero Moto Corp’s CEO. Owned by Roppen Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, the firm raised at least $55 million till Series B round, according to data from Crunchbase.
Apart from Rapido, scooter rental platform Vogo raised close to $8 million from Bhavesh Agarwal-run Ola. The start-up currently has raised about $124 million in funding.
"Shared mobility not only reduces the traffic but also frees up parking spaces, which in Indian cities is anywhere between 12-15% of the total usable real estate," said Bounce's Hallekere.
On January 23, Bounce raised an additional $105 million round led by Accel Partners and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, closing the Series D funding round. Existing investors including Omidyar Network India, Sequoia Capital India, Chiratae Ventures, Maverick Ventures and Qualcomm Ventures also participated in the round.
The fresh funding, which takes the total amount raised to over $194 million, will fuel a deeper Electric Vehicle (EV) integration, platform play and help drive profitability, according to the statement. The new round brings company’s valuation close to $520 million, probably the largest in India's scooter mobility space.
The start-up plans to use the funds for expansion in different geographies and electric vehicle integration. An infrastructure, with multiple charging stations like petrol pumps, to support electric vehicles has still not been developed in India. Bounce plans to tackle this problem by manufacturing its own two-wheeler batteries. “One battery will operate for about 60 km, and then we would replace it with a new one,” said Anil.