Vivekananda H.R., co-founder and CEO of Bounce
Vivekananda H.R., co-founder and CEO of Bounce

Two-wheeler rental firm Bounce looks to ride into smaller cities

  • The dockless two-wheeler rental startup may even expand abroad if the opportunity seems right, says CEO Vivekananda
  • Unlike rival Vogo, backed by Matrix Partners and Ola Cabs, Bounce’s scooters can be dropped in any legal parking spot located nearby, making it more accessible

Mumbai: Dockless two-wheeler rental startup Bounce, which raised $72 million from investors last month, plans to expand outside India’s top cities, a senior executive said.

“We won’t restrict ourselves to metros. I think this is a great opportunity for tier-II, III, IV cities," said Vivekananda H.R., co-founder and chief executive officer of Bounce. The Bengaluru-based company, which clocks about a million rides a month, is aiming for a million rides a day in the next 12-16 months.

“We will go after smaller cities and are very bullish across India," said Vivekananda. Bounce is present in more than 10 cities, including Jaipur, Hassan and Kolar. In addition, bike renting firm Wicked Ride, which has the same holding company as Bounce, is also present in a dozen cities, including Mysuru, Bhuj, Udaipur and Belgavi.

Bounce may even expand abroad if the opportunity seems right. “We’ll never shy away from going to an interesting market. For us, the next city need not necessarily be in India. We have to think through on why a particular city may need our solution," Vivekanananda said.

Unlike rival Vogo, backed by Matrix Partners and Ola Cabs, Bounce’s scooters can be dropped in any legal parking spot located nearby, making it more accessible. “Finding parking is a challenge that will always exist. We will start showing which nearby spaces that guarantee parking, exclusive Bounce areas in malls, and are working with the government to create exclusive parking space for Bounce," Vivekananda said.

Bounce doesn’t seem perturbed by Vogo’s tie-up with Ola, one of India’s most valuable startups. Ola announced in December that it will invest $100 million in Vogo. Ola will help Vogo with asset financing and procuring scooters, besides the brand association which would benefit Vogo.

“Ola brings demand to the table for Vogo. We don’t think demand is a challenge. Demand is unlimited in the business we are in. We aren’t worried," Vivekananda said. Vogo is also in talks to raise up to $50 million in funding, to expand its fleet and bring in more electric scooters, Mint reported on 20 June.

Bounce is also working on manufacturing its own electric scooters. “(We have) done pilots on electric scooters, and have been working on (battery) swapping infrastructure and manufacturing electric scooter in partnership with the design and plan by us," he said.

The startup plans to hire people across technology functions in internet of things and hardware professionals.

Bounce counts hedge fund Falcon Edge, Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and VC firm Accel as its investors.

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