Bike rental startup Bounce to have all-electric fleet by next year

Bike rental startup Bounce to have all-electric fleet by next year
Photo Credit: Pixabay
11 Dec, 2020

Sequoia Capital-backed dockless bike rentals provider Bounce said it will transition to a 100% electric vehicle (EV) model by the third quarter of 2021.

Currently, 50% of the Bengaluru-based startup’s fleet is electric, a statement said, without specifying the total number of vehicles. The firm said it plans to add 4,000 e-scooters to its platform by February. 

“We always believed that widespread adoption of EVs will happen only by fleet operators as the backend infrastructure can be built before fleet deployment, thus solving the Catch-22 situation. When Covid-19 impacted business, we took advantage of the period to accelerate our EV adoption strategy,” Vivekananda Hallekere, CEO and co-founder of Bounce, said.

He said the company has built strategic partnerships with several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) for electric and battery components for the EV transition. Its fleet will have 10,000 in-house designed vehicles, the statement said.

Bounce has resumed operations in a handful of markets such as Hassan, Mysuru, Vijayawada, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The company said its business is back to 35% of pre-Covid numbers.

It currently has three modes of operation: short term rentals, long term rentals and rideshare.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, the company initiated temporary salary cuts and fired about 22% of its 590-strong workforce. This also put on hold or transformed several of its planned business lines, products and projects. 

Other mobility businesses that have cut manpower costs include bike rental startup Vogo, cab aggregators Uber India and Ola.

In June, the company launched ‘Bounce Club’ wherein users get discounts on rides and offers from partner brands. Companies could  enroll their employee users and partner with Bounce to add to the offers. 

In March, TechCircle had exclusively reported that the startup was testing a carpool service.

Bounce’s parent holding entity Wickedride Adventure Services in January raised $105 million in a growth funding round, led by venture capital firm Accel and Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin backed B-Capital Group, at a valuation of $500 million. In March, it raised $6.5 million in venture debt from existing investor, Innoven Capital. Its total fundraise so far stands at around $212 million, as per VCCEdge data.