Goa-based electric vehicle tourism startup B:Live has raised INR 4 Cr ($563.18K) in a fresh funding round from DNA Entertainment Networks, which the latter called a strategic investment.
The funds are expected to be used to expand B:Live’s presence in the country and strengthen its technology platform. Prior to this, B:Live had raised INR 1 Cr as seed funding led by Shrinivas V. Dempo, chairman of Dempo Group and Shivanand V Salgaocar, chairman and managing director, Vimson Group.
Founded in 2017 by Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee, B:Live offers immersive tours, powered by smart e-cycles. The company works closely with multiple state governments to encourage early adoption of electric vehicles across all tourist destinations in India. The company envisions bringing in eco-tourism revolution in the country through curated experiences powered by electric vehicles.
B:Live’s Future Plans
The company is currently operational in Goa, Pondicherry, and Gujarat addressing guests from premium hospitality chains like Taj, Club Mahindra, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, Novotel, Radisson, etc.
The founders said that the company has completed over 2000 rides and helped save close to 2 tonnes of CO2 emissions. “With a strong support from the Ministry of Tourism, state governments and major Hospitality chains, we aim to launch across 10 new locations in India in the next 12 months and 30 locations by 2023,” they added.
The company is also exploring popular experiential tourism destinations in South East Asia and claims to have received a good market response.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), last year, travel and tourism grew 3.9%, contributing a record $8.8 Tn and 319 mn jobs to the world economy. The report also found that the travel and tourism industry generated 10.4% of all global economic activity last year. Recently, Amritsar-based electric bike rental company eBikeGo expanded its operations to Andaman and Nicobar.
Millennial tourists present a $100 Bn travel opportunity in India and South East Asia by 2024, which are the focus markets for the company. The Indian government is also aiming to achieve at least 30% electric mobility by 2030. Electric two-wheelers account for a major portion of EV sales in India, creating a lot of buzz around e-bikes.