[Funding alert] Bengaluru bike rental startup Tilt raises $125,000 from Y Combinator

Bike-sharing startup Tilt, which focuses on mobility within campuses and works with Tata Motors, TCS, Mahindra Group, and Tata Steel, has raised $125,000 from Y Combinator and an additional undisclosed round from a set of angels.
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Bengaluru-based Tilt Technology, a startup that provides EV and bicycle bike-share for residential townships and corporate manufacturing plants, has raised $125,000 from Y Combinatorand an additional undisclosed round from a set of angels. The startup was founded in 2018 by Deepak V S, Sudhir Metaliya, Daksh Shah, and Rachit Parikh.

Speaking to YourStory Mediabefore the Y Combinator Demo Day, the founders said most bike-share companies in India were solving mobility within cities, whereas Tilt was focused on solving mobility within campuses.

"Getting around these campuses is really painful. You either have to walk long distances or wait for overcrowded shuttle buses. We partner with such campuses to deploy bicycles and e-bikes within their communities," Deepak says.

Users can sign up on the Tilt app, find a bike station within their campus, and get a ride in a minute. It's docking hardware is patent-pending and developed in-house by its team.

The startup has deployed its solutions with some of India’s largest companies, including Tata Motors, ONGC Petro additions Limited, Tata Consultancy Services, Palava City, Mahindra Group, and Tata Steel.

The startup was incubated at Digital Impact Square, a TCS Foundation-run startup incubator. Through DISQ, the startup was introduced to Tata Motors and realised that Tilt was a great way to improve mobility within their manufacturing plant. After running a successful early pilot within their campus, Tata Motors became a paying customer.

Demand in Tier II and III India

Tilt is a part of Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 batch, and its bikes are manufactured in Nashik and Ludhiana. 

"Today, we have more contracts than we can fulfill with most of our demand coming from Tier II and III cities. Scaling manufacturing and operations to meet this demand is going to be our biggest short-term challenge. As we scale, our goal is to grow Tilt into a product that is synonymous with campus mobility," Deepak says.

The startup charges a fee based on the duration of their ride. In some campuses, the administration chooses to subsidise a part of this fee for employees and residents.

Over the last 18 months, the founding team has visited hundreds of campuses across the country to understand the unique mobility challenges that they face.

Tilt’s hardware, operations, software and vehicles have been built ground up to specifically address these challenges.

"Over the last year, our business model and product have rapidly evolved to more aptly address the needs that our customers have. Having just raised a pre-seed round to kickstart our growth, our revenue numbers are currently undisclosed," Deepak says. 

Edited by Teja Lele Desai