Micro mobility is the future for rapidly growing Indian cities that are choking with traffic and pollution, and Bengaluru-based Yulu offers a green solution with its seamless and scalable platform of smart, shared, dockless cycles and electric vehicles.
Amit Gupta, CEO, Yulu Bikes
Yulu Bikes was founded in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Amit Gupta, RK Mishra, Hemant Gupta and Naveen Dachuri. The launch objective was simple: to decongest urban traffic by providing a scalable, affordable, efficient and clean solution for the first mile, last mile and short distance commute. “India is now officially the most polluted country in the world. Our air quality is 10x worse than the permissible safety limits, so solving this problem is a very critical need of the hour”, says Gupta.
Yulu has used IoT to create a network of shared dockless bicycles and e-scooters that solve the first and last-mile connectivity in Indian cities. It aims to transform urban mobility in India by providing a scalable, affordable and clean-energy solution.
The service began with a regular pedal-powered bike in 2017 and was augmented with a future-ready electric two-wheeler, the Yulu Miracle, in early 2019. Powered by the IoT, both types of bikes can be rented and returned using an app, and payments can be made through a secure digital wallet. Yulu bikes are currently operational in the cities of Bengaluru, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Mumbai; in high-density areas such as outside metro stations, suburban railway stations, large tech office campuses, apartment complexes, shopping malls, bus stops, colleges and more. With over half a million app installs and a growing ecosystem of users powered largely by word of mouth, Yulu is looking to expand its user base.
Says Gupta, “We have been able to make a real impact in home-to-work commute in four cities in India during the last 12 months and strongly believe that a short commute mode can be made more efficient, affordable and green for future generations.” Yulu’s mission has been to move people from riding along in personal cars or taxis to much smaller two-wheelers that do not require fossil fuels. This environmental concern apart, the company believes that sustainable mobility within Indian cities, where economic activity is concentrated, is critical to the country’s GDP. If a city’s mobility is not efficient, it will directly impact productivity and consequently, the country’s growth rate.
Yulu has been identified as among the best startups in India by Inc42, Young Turks, Financial Express, AirCTO, Karnataka Govt’s Elevate, SmartCEO and Angel List. Yulu was also selected as one of the Top 11 technology startups in India to work for in 2019.
Amit Gupta, CEO, Yulu Bikes, is a mechanical engineer and serial entrepreneur. After working with hot startups, he started Analyticsworks, a company that offered a platform for business intelligence focused on media, retail and commerce. Later, fascinated by the exponential growth of mobile phones, he co-founded the mobile marketing and advertising platform provider InMobi, reckoned to be India’s first profitable internet unicorn.
Yulu is his newest startup because he “wanted to solve a social problem that can make a positive impact. Yulu is an attempt to solve traffic congestion and air pollution in big cities of India.” Asked about his journey to serial entrepreneurship, he tells Sandhya Mendonca, “I grew up in a family where practically everyone was involved in business. From childhood, I saw the value that entrepreneurship could bring to solving problems and in creating self-reliance. I also believed that technology plays a big role in bringing higher efficiency and hence bigger impact. Even when I began my career as a technologist, I had a clear aim of starting something on my own. And once you become an entrepreneur, you remain one for life; so becoming a serial entrepreneur was not surprising.”