Bengaluru-based Metro Bikes has raised $12.2 Mn in a Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India Advisors and Accel Partners. The funding also saw participation from G Raghunandan, founder of TaxiForSure, and a consortium of other investors. Shailesh Lakhani, MD, Sequoia Capital India Advisors, and Anand Daniel, partner, Accel Partners, will join the board of Metro Bikes.
The startup has also changed its brand name from Metro Bikes to Bounce.
Commenting on the investment, Lakhani said, “While it makes sense in other markets, a service like Bounce has immense potential in India, where limitations of space and cost have always made two-wheelers more popular. The network has the potential to be a category creator — being the first to offer an extremely cost-effective, personalised, motorised transport that fills a critical need gap in the Indian market — and Sequoia India is looking forward to being a part of this journey.”
With this fundraise, one-way rental service provider Metro Bikes/Bounce plans to scale up its network in Bengaluru. The startup also plans to work on improving its delivery models and expand to other major cities across India by 2020.
Metro Bikes, a dockless bike rental startup, was founded in 2014 by Vivekananda HR, Varun Agni, and Anil G. It provides premium bike rental services under the brand name Wicked Rides; Bounce is the new brand name for its commute bike rentals, which was earlier named Metro Bikes.
Metro Bikes/Bounce currently offers its services in select areas of Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mysore, Jaipur, Udaipur, Belagavi, Manipal, Jaisalmer, Gokarna, and some other cities. The startup has tied up with the Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (BMRCL) and provides bike rentals at metro stations across the city.
Currently, Metro Bikes/Bounce offers around 65 to 100 bikes to facilitate last-mile connectivity for commuters at 36 out of 42 metro stations in Bengaluru. Its rental services are priced at INR 3 – INR 6.5 per km. The startup plans to add 10,000 scooters to its fleet in the next six months.
Metro Bikes/Bounce is also working to add more bicycles, ebikes, and electric scooters to its inventory.
Recently, Chinese bike rental unicorn Ofo announced plans to launch its services in India in collaboration with Paytm. Inc42 earlier reported that the Ofo bicycle sharing feature would be available on the Paytm app along with a standalone Ofo app.
Even as the Karnataka government is paving the way for bike taxis to ply in Bengaluru, the funding will help Bounce expand its network to compete with the likes of UberMOTO and OlaBikes in the city. It will also enable the startup to establish a presence in other cities across India.
Metro Bikes/Bounce has an edge over these two bigger rivals since it solves the first- and last-mile connectivity problem via its one-way rental services model, catering to a slightly different segment from OlaBikes and UberMOTO.
[The development was reported by Business Standard.]