India’s E-bike Yulu eyes expansion as it closes in on profitability


By Reuters and published by CNA

Bengaluru – E-bike rental startup Yulu, which is looking to go public, expects to turn operationally profitable by September and plans to expand its presence in India and abroad with Thailand and Indonesia being among the countries that look interesting, its chief executive said.

The startup, which currently operates in Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai, will venture into cities including Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai, Kolkata and Ahmedabad over the next 15 months.

It will also explore partnerships with local entrepreneurs in smaller markets such as Varanasi, Agra and Goa.

“Yulu is open to giving its technology platform to anyone who wants to run a small fleet in cities where we do not have a long-term plan to run it,” CEO Amit Gupta told Reuters.

The plan comes amid a broader government push for the electrification of shared transport and at a time when Yulu relies on its tie-ups with delivery firms Zomato, Swiggy and Zepto to fend off rivals, including Gogoro-backed Zypp Electric and SoftBank-backed Ola Electric.

Delivery executives account for 60 percent of Yulu’s fleet utilisation and revenue share, the startup said in a statement to Reuters, adding that more than 50,000 of them used its services in FY23.

Co-founded by Gupta, RK Misra and Naveen Dachuri in 2017, Yulu is aiming to achieve a four-fold increase in its fleet to 100,000 vehicles by the end of the current fiscal year.

The startup’s annual losses had narrowed to 555 million rupees ($6.8 million) in FY22 from 611 million rupees in FY21, a company spokesman said, adding that the annual results for FY23 were yet to be released.

Yulu’s bikes are made by Bajaj Auto, which exports vehicles to over 70 nations. The startup plans to piggyback on the industry veteran to venture abroad.

“The countries looking interesting are the ones where EV is there as a policy” such as Thailand and Indonesia,” Gupta said.


A view of Yulu two-wheelers lined up on a pavement, in Bengaluru, India, on June 14, 2023. Photo: Reuters /Hritam Mukherjee

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