[The Turning Point]: From a Hayabusa to a metro scooter, the ‘Wicked Ride’ of Bounce
If there was one thing Vivekananda HR, Varun Agni, and Anil G, completely agreed upon, it was how mobility needed to transform in India. The trio of friends had even found it ridiculous when Anil had to wait for a year for a Royal Enfield.
“Then we realised that it would be a problem for any high-end bike: Harley Davidson, Hayabusa, or any other luxury bike. And instead of spending several lakhs it is better to rent it,”
Vivekananda (aka Vivek) says.
Thus, Wicked Ride, a luxury bike rental startup was born in 2014.
While Wicked Ride was operational and running its course, the trio came up with the idea of Bounce in 2016 when the metro had started in Bengaluru.
The bike-sharing startup offers its customers a last-mile and cost-effective commute option with its current pricing of Rs 5 per kilometer and Rs 0.5 per minute, making it cheaper than an autorickshaw ride.
“We realised that if we wanted to address mobility at large, we needed to look at the Point A-to-B commute. We felt bikes would have the easiest transition, considering India has the highest two-wheeler owning population,” Vivek adds.
While there were hardly any players in the space in India, the Chinese market, however, had Ofo and Mobike. “But we knew that in India, bicycles would be tough; most of us are lazy!” he says.
The first few months they were running on the fumes of what they had made from Wicked Rides.
“Till we got our VC backing, it was a stressful period every day. I am grateful and thankful to my team, which stuck around,” Vivek adds.
At present, Bounce has over 13,000 yellow dockless scooters that are available outside every metro station in Bengaluru, and have clocked over 80,000 rides per day.
As per the company’s RoC filing, Bounce’s revenue rose to Rs 5.4 crore in FY 2017-18 from Rs 4.3 crore in the previous fiscal. For the same period, the startup’s losses widened from Rs 3.2 crore to Rs 7 crore. Last year, Bounce also acquired the Indian arm of the Chinese cycle sharing company, Ofo.
Earlier this year, it had raised $72 million in Series C funding and has a total funding of $102.7 million. Bounce also has Facebook’s Co-founder Eduardo Saverin on its board.
Bounce operates in over 10 cities. Given the rapid growth in the bike-taxi and bike-rental segment in India, it competes with the likes of Vogo, Rapido, RentOnGo, ZipHop, and ONNBikes.
“If I was to talk about a vision, I believe we can do over one million rides in a day. If there is any category in mobility that can achieve that kind of scale in India, it is scooters,” Vivek added.
(This article is part of a series that highlights the turning point in a startup founder’s entrepreneurial journey.)
(Edited by Suman Singh)