Chipmaker Qualcomm backs dockless scooter sharing platform Bounce

Chipmaker Qualcomm backs dockless scooter sharing platform Bounce
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
3 May, 2019

Bengaluru-based Bounce, which runs a dockless scooter and bicycle rental platform, has received about $1 million (Rs 6.9 crore at current exchange rates) from telecommunications and semiconductor major Qualcomm.

According to the company’s recent filings with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, WickedRide Adventure Services Pvt. Ltd, which operates the venture, raised this sum from the Singapore-based associate of the telecommunications major, Qualcomm Asia Pacific Pte.

The company’s board had passed a resolution for the investment last month. Bounce raised this sum by issuing compulsorily convertible preferential shares.

E-mail queries sent to Bounce seeking more information on this latest infusion did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

The latest funding round comes after Bounce secured $6 million in debt from Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and $3 million in venture debt from InnoVen Capital in March and April, respectively.

The development comes at a time when Bounce’s parent has been in advanced talks to raise funding from new and existing investors including Israeli-Russian billionaire investor Yuri Milner and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture fund B Capital Group.

TechCircle had earlier learnt that the fundraising exercise, which initially started out as a $50-million round, could end up being oversubscribed and go up to $70-80 million.

Bounce

The venture was founded in 2014 by Vivekanand Hallekere along with Varun Agni and Anil G.

The company initially offered motorbikes and scooters on a rental basis primarily to urban commuters.

It tweaked its business model to a dockless scooter-sharing service but has continued to run its rental business. With the acquisition of bicycle-sharing unicorn Ofo’s India assets, Bounce now also offers dockless bicycle sharing.

It also offers a monthly subscription-based plan where a user can pick up a bike or scooter from a metro station, take it home and drop it back at the station the next morning, information on the company’s website states.

Besides Bounce, the company also operates WickedRide, a premium motorbike rental platform that includes brands such as Harley Davidson, Benelli, Royal Enfield, Kawasaki, Triumph, Ducati, KTM and Americana.

In March this year, it roped in former Groupon executive Bharath Devanathan as senior vice-president of growth and electric vehicles.

Sequoia Capital, Accel and the family office of Sutures India chairman Chandrasekhar Gopalan are among Bounce’s existing backers.

In November 2018, Bounce secured funding from impact investment firm Omidyar Network, which came on board as a new investor.

A few months before that, it had raised $12.2 million (Rs 83.6 crore then) in a round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Accel and had rebranded itself from Metro Bikes to Bounce.

In February last year, the family investment office of Sutures India chairman Chandrasekhar Gopalan had invested $1.5 million (Rs 10 crore) in the venture.

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