Exclusive: Bike taxi startup Hey Bob shuts down
Hey Bob, Bengaluru's first bike taxi startup, has shut down after failing to raise fresh funding.
"Yes, it has shut down," co-founder Vishal Kumar BM told TechCircle on Thursday. "We have not made a formal announcement yet. We met our investors and we had a long chat and we decided to move on. We were in touch with a few investors but that did not turn out to be successful."
Kumar has joined Bengaluru-based online gifting startup GiftXOXO as its sales lead for special projects.
Kumar also said that all four co-founders have moved on from the company. "No one is with Hey Bob. We have given technology licensing to a couple of companies in East Africa and that is a recurring revenue. That (royalty) is going straight to the investors. Not that we are obligated to return it to the investors, but to maintain a healthy relationship with them," said Kumar, elaborating on the terms of the exit.
Kumar had last week told TechCircle that he was "talking to a few investors" to raise funds to resume Hey Bob's operations. He had also said that the company stopped its business-to-consumer (B2C) services a month ago and later suspended its business-to-business (B2B) operations.
"The B2B segment was profitable for us. Unfortunately, we couldn't raise the next round of funding," he said at the time.
Hey Bob, operated by Helion Technologies Pvt. Ltd, had secured an undisclosed amount in angel funding last year. It was operational in Mumbai and Bengaluru and had around 500 riders. The startup was founded by Vishal Kumar BM, Girish Kumar SN, Vinay Kumar Reddy and Suman Kundu.
India is one of the world's largest two-wheeler markets and the on-demand bike taxi segment exploded over the past year. As many as 40 app-based companies are estimated to have started operations in various cities. These include MTaxi, Bikxie, Baxi, TuWheelz, Mobike, NOW and Rapido. US-based cab-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc and its main Indian rival Ola have also started bike taxi services in some cities in the country.
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