After brining auto rickshaws in its fold, Uber India has now decided to expand its services to bicycles. Ola’s main rival has apparently joined hands with bicycle rental company Yulu that will soon allow Uber’s customers to hire bicycles on rent. This business joint venture is mostly hinting towards the fact that Uber may have invested or even acquired Yulu but there is still no clarity on this front. Both companies have so far not commented on reports of their joint venture project. It is also not clear exactly when will integrate Yulu in its main app.
Based in Bengaluru and founded in 2017, Yulu offers dockless bicycles and dockless electric bikes on rent to cover 5 km in first mile as well as last mile connectivity. The startup is been backed by high profile names like Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal, InMobi’s Naveen Tewari and Freshwork’s Girish Mathrubootham. The company currently offers services in Bangalore, Pune, Mumbai and Bhubaneswar.
Experts claim that micro-mobility market compromising of first mile as well as last mile connectivity is a big market opportunity. However, standing in between this seemingly huge market opportunity are big challenges including infrastructural hurdles like the availability of electric charging stations and transforming electric vehicles into mass product.
The joint venture with Yulu clearly signifies Uber’s desire to become a multi modal transportation app. Through this approach, the ride-hailing giant is certainly trying to expand its revenue stream. Notably, Uber is trying to execute the same experiment in the U.S. as well. Last year it bought New York City-based e-bike startup Jump for an estimated $100 million.
Ola is also most probably trying to tread on the same path. It had invested $100 Mn in scooter sharing startup Vogo in December last year.