Yulu targets EV fleet expansion as customer base diversifies
Technology-driven mobility startupis preparing to expand its fleet of electric vehicles to around 80,000 in response to the new emerging customer segments led by the COVID-19 pandemic. The vehicles provided by the startup across Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai are being used largely for ‘last mile delivery of goods’ by gig workers employed at ecommerce, and food delivery firms, among others.
The company claims post-pandemic growth numbers for Yulu are 250 times higher than previous years in terms of sales, revenue, and fleet size. The company’s revenue is said to have shot up by 2.5X while the profit margins grew by 3X.
“We are going slower on the number of cities, but we are going denser wherever we are present,’ says Amit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, Yulu, when asked about plans for growth and expansion.
Currently, Yulu has a fleet size of 10,000 vehicles across the three cities, and going forward, the company aims to grow its fleet size to around 70,000-80,000 vehicles by September 2022. This goal is also expected to boost its revenue growth by 9-10X.
Amit dwells on Yulu’s customer base being white-collar workers primarily. A huge chunk of this segment of customers has transitioned to online working. Accounting for this change, Yulu moved their services to cater to that fraction of society which had to work offline as a necessity and required mobility options. Blue collar workers, grey collar workers and students were identified as new customers, and the company aims to provide an affordable ride option to them.
“We are cheaper than the petrol counterpart by almost 45 percent today,” says Amit.
He explains that on an average, gig workers use Yulu vehicles for a distance of 70-80 kilometers while covering around 20 deliveries. The cost of this ride is an average of Rs 10 per kilometer. When this distance is measured by petrol, he adds, the cost is too much to bear.
With this expanding customer base, Yulu bikes also does not mandate a driving license to ride their e-bikes. According to Amit, the company is targeting a huge percentage of the population that cannot afford to own a vehicle, and neither have the credit history required to attain one.
Their model primarily follows an online approach where the user can locate e-bikes over the Yulu App, scan the QR code, and the ride begins. This is claimed to be a sustainable option for gig workers since they don’t have to own the bike or follow through with its maintenance.
Yulu’s plan for sustainability is also reflected in their emission-free electric vehicles for transportation of the last leg in the supply chain journey. To boost the Make in India initiative, manufacturing giant Bajaj Auto decided to provide low-cost electric scooters. It also pumped in an investment of $8 million in Yulu in November 2019.
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