After Zoomcar and Yulu, Ola to enter bicycle sharing with free 30-minute offer

Ola
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To entice more customers towards its platform, ride-hailing company Ola will bring its bicycle sharing service with first 30-minute free offer for its early customers.
It will charge Rs 5 for every half an hour thereafter.

Ride-hailing firm has already run a pilot on the IIT Kanpur campus in early November. The company added a ‘Pedal’ button on its app to allow students, faculty and others on the campus to avail of bicycles on rent. Ola eyes to leverage large college campuses and IT parks where motorised vehicles are not allowed. The company also has plans to launch the bicycle service in Manipal University.

Customers, who book bicycles on the app will be provided a code, which they can use to unlock the service, according to an IIT Kanpur student community Facebook page.

The company put out around 600 bicycles, while another set of more sophisticated bicycles with GPS, QR Code and smart locks are on their way to the campus, the student senate informed its community on its Facebook page earlier this month.

This is after, a number of other players including self-drive car rental firm Zoomcar and the newly-founded Yulu entering the app-based bicycle sharing business.

Ola, the leading homegrown startup backed by SoftBank, Tiger Global and Tencent and others. Recently, it raised $1.1 billion from investors and is on course to raise $1 billion more.

Competition in bicycle sharing space

Off late, the country has wintnessed rise in launch of bicycle sharing servies. Last week, InMobi’s co-founder Amit Gupta started his new venture, an IoT-enabled bicycle renting company Yulu. Bangalore-based Yulu, will allow people to rent dockless bicycles via Yulu app. It will work on a pay-per-use model, where users will be billed for every 30 minutes of use. Yulu claims to generate revenue from advertising on bicycles and data from its usage.

In October, self-drive car rental company Zoomcar launched PEDL, a cycle rental service, starting with Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. In the same month, Chandigarh-headquartered hyperlocal delivery startup and auto rickshaw aggregator Jugnoo has declared addition of bicycles in its delivery vertical. At present, 50 bicycles are in the system that are doing deliveries in 3 cities- Chandigarh, Noida, and Gurgaon.

Players from other country like China are also watching this space wit keen interest. Alibaba Group-backed Ofo is also looking to set up shop in India in 2018. Letscycle, Rentomo,RentOnGo and Wicked Ride are existing players in the space.

The market size of the shared mobility space under bicycles is currently close to $8-10 billion globally and will be more than $1 billion in India by 2022.

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