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Bajaj Auto pumps in $8 million into mobility startup Yulu

Yulu is a dockless, lithium-powered scooter focusing largely on the sub-5 km first- and last-mile connectivity, the same market which Ola backed Vogo and Sequoia, Accel backed Bounce are targeting.

, ET Bureau|
Nov 26, 2019, 12.22 PM IST
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Yulu
Yulu claims to do between 30,000-35,000 rides a day, of which 12,000-13,000 comes from its electric scooters.
BENGALURU: Bajaj Auto, the world’s third-largest motorcycle company, has invested $8 million (about Rs 57 crore) in bicycle and electric scooter rental startup Yulu.

As a part of the deal, Bajaj is also going to manufacture customised electric scooters for the Bengaluru based startup. The Rajiv Bajaj-led company, which has a market capitalisation of Rs 92,615 crore, will also consider facilitating the vehicle finance needs of Yulu, through its financial services arm Bajaj Finserv.

“At BAL, we believe that the two factors of 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 System like Metro in large cities will further boost the demand for flexible last-mile connectivity,” said Rajiv Bajaj, managing director of Bajaj Auto, said.

Yulu plans to increase its fleet size to 100,000 electric two-wheelers by December 2020. It currently has a fleet of 15,000 vehicles. The Bengaluru-based company claims to do between 30,000-35,000 rides a day, of which 12,000-13,000 comes from its electric scooters.

In June, Uber partnered with Bajaj Auto to launch UberXS, a new category of rides on its platform using quadricycles called Qute. Interestingly, Uber has also partnered with Yulu, where users can book its vehicles using the ride-hailing major’s app.

“Shared mobility is an ecosystem play. We started working with cities, corporates and citizens to solve for safe parking..metro authorities to solve for public transport..on the private mobility side we partnered with Uber...same way as a part of the ecosystem we needed an OEM, that is where Bajaj comes in,” said Amit Gupta, chef executive of Yulu, said.

Yulu is a dockless, lithium-powered scooter focusing largely on the sub-5 km first- and last-mile connectivity, the same market which Ola backed Vogo and Sequoia, Accel backed Bounce are targeting.

This also comes at a time when investor interest in two-wheeler startups have continued to remain strong. In 2018, two-wheeler startups raised $2.6 billion across 67 rounds globally, 2019 year-to-date, the number has touched $2.1 billion across 52 rounds to date, according to data collated by Tracxn.

“In the Indian EV ecosystem, electric two and three-wheelers will be the first form factors to scale rapidly,” Anand Ayyadurai, chief executive of Vogo Automotive, which competes with Yulu, told ET. Separately, Bounce, also a leading player in India’s still-nascent mobility space, is also piloting with a fleet of 1,000 EV scooters.

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