[Startup Bharat] Amritsar-based eBikeGo aims to make EVs the go-to bike for rentals
When Irfan Khan, an alternative medicine doctor was working at his spa in Dalhousie, he noticed that tourists were not keeping the city clean. To keep it clean, he started an NGO, Swachh Dalhousie in 2014, along the lines of government’s Swachh Bharat Mission.
The NGO organised many successful campaigns where many students and employees supported the cause. Wanting to do more for the environment, it decided to look at electric vehicles. In 2017, Irfan founded eBikeGo and a year later, the firm started its operations.
Headquartered in Amritsar, Punjab, eBikeGo is an electric two-wheeler rental platform that provides an economical and environment-friendly travelling option for everyone.
“It is aimed at handling the problem of local travelling by providing safer, cleaner, and cheaper transportation. eBikeGo aspires to be one of the leading service providers, by offering its superior eBike on rent and for deliveries at the most competitive prices,” Irfan says.
eBikeGo core team
The team and challenges
Irfan roped in Kedar Soman, who joined the startup as a Co-founder and CTO. Kedar, who has over 20 years of experience in manufacturing across India, the US, and Japan, met Irfan through mutual friends.
At present, eBikeGo has 16 people in the company, with six on its core team. The core team comprises of Hari Kiran, Project Head; Milind Garud, CFO; Anuj Bali, CS; and Abhijit K, a CXO executive.
“A customer can book our scooter either by using our website or by calling our customer care number. We do brand activities in all our partner offices to attract customers. We have a 24/7 assist service wherein, we provide replacement of the scooter if any problem is found,” Irfan says.
One of the challenges the team faced was about getting the right scooters and battery that could give longer usage and range. The lead-acid based vehicles had no option of removing the battery from the vehicle, and the users faced problems while charging the bikes when they took it out for days.
“We overcame this by using lithium-ion battery scooters where we can charge the battery, rather than charging the scooter. In this case, customers can carry it to their rooms and charge it,” Irfan adds.
The company uses Gurugram-based Okinawa Autotech’s electric two-wheelers and plans to use scooters manufactured by other OEM’s in the future.
The revenue and costs
These electric scooters are powered with a 60V/26AH Li-on battery, which is detachable and can be charged anywhere. The team has partnered with franchises that offer rental vehicles and delivery services. Irfan says the franchise owner can offer all services and get 90 percent of the revenue.
eBikeGo runs for about 100 km after charging for about two hours, at a speed of 55 km/hr. It charges 20 paise/km for an average speed of 55 km/hour. eBikeGo offers rentals starting at Rs 20 for 30 minutes.
The platform today operates in Amritsar, Delhi, Jaipur, Ludhiana, and Agra. With a fleet of 300 bikes, the team claims to make a monthly revenue of Rs 12 lakh, with daily average revenue of Rs 40,000.
Funding and market
Initially bootstrapped, eBikeGo has raised an undisclosed round of funding led by Startup Buddy in 2019. The round also saw participation from investors like Singer- Sukhbir Singh; Rajesh Sawhney, Co-Founder of Innerchef; Rohit Chanana, Founder, Sarcha Advisory; Siddhartha Ahluwalia, Founder of 100x Entrepreneur; Milind Garud, Arun Gholap, and Shantanu Vinekar, among others.
According to PS Market research, the Indian electric scooter and motorcycle market generated $80 million in revenue in 2018. Currently, the EV market registers a CAGR of 36 percent. With the recent government’s push, the EV space is fast heating-up.
Recently, Ratan Tata, the former Chairman of Tata Sons invested in Mumbai-based EV startup, Tork Motors. eBikeGo has several competitors in the EV market, which includes Ather Energy, Yulu, Orxa Energies, TresMoto, GoGreenBOV, and Hero Electric's B2B division.
Players like Bounce and Vogo too, are strongly focussing in the EV segment. Speaking of the startup’s differentiator, Irfan says,
"Competitors who are using fuel scooters, spend the majority of the money for petrol. For example, if a person rents a Honda Activa for Rs 400 a day, he/she needs to fill Rs 200 worth petrol in the vehicle. We are charging Rs 200 only, for a fully charged scooter.”
With an increased demand for EV, eBikeGo is now expanding pan-India, in addition to increasing its fleet size in cities, where the startup is already present.
It is also working to expand its service network in different cities to provide much better solutions for the customers and business partners using the two-wheelers. The company aims to bring a fleet of two lakh bikes in 100 cities across the country in the next two years.
(Edited by Suman Singh)