With the vision and mission of making India a greener and fitter nation, Akash Gupta and Rashi Agarwal have launched Mobycy, a dockless bicycle sharing app. The platform has also raised Rs 3.2 crore in seed fund from an Angel Investor based out of the USA.
Gurugram-based Mobycy claims to offer users with a unique and first-of-its-kind ‘Uber for bicycles’ model in India. Driven to solve the growing pollution menace and traffic congestion on roads, the platform has a collection of Smart Bikes enabled with IoT locks and GPS tracking; and hence, can be operated without docks or stations for parking.
Users can just download the Mobycy app, find the bikes in the nearby area, unlock the bikes with QR Codes and upon completion of the trip, park the bikes safely.
“At Mobycy, we envisioned a simple solution to growing menaces — pollution and traffic jams – by bringing back cycling. The idea behind the startup is to leverage the latest technology to make bicycles easily accessible and affordable while promoting cycling amongst daily commuters for reducing the carbon footprint,” said Akash. Mobycy is now live on Android Play store for initial preview.
Looking at the big issue of last mile connectivity in India, the startup also aims to help users commute their last mile distance of 3-6 kilometres using the platform’s bicycles.
The company is launching its operations with 5000 bicycles and envisions increasing it to 50,000 in the next 6 months. The bicycles will be available in the cities, including Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon and Faridabad. The company is piloting in Chandigarh. The bikes will be available at various public places, like metro stations, markets, popular haunts like North Campus and Cyber City etc. Additionally, students from various colleges and universities will be able to hire the Smart Bikes from Mobycy at a subsidized subscription plans.
Mobycy is a startup which is also recognized under Indian Government’s DIPP-StartUpIndia program.
The company has leveraged advanced technologies, such as integrated IoT-based GPRS lock technology, cashless wallet payments, geofencing and machine learning to provide users with an excellent, healthy and environment-friendly commuting alternative.
The current model of Mobycy makes dockless bicycling cheap at about Re 1 per hour ride, or less.
Under the monthly plan, users will have to pay Rs 99 for 2 hourly rides per day. Additionally, the users will have to sign up using their Aadhar identification and pay a nominal security deposit worth Rs 999, which is completely refundable.
For students, the security deposit is only Rs 499 and signup will be using their college photo identification. While this is just the beginning, the startup is further aiming for an aggressive growth. Increasing the existing number of cycles to 50,000. The platform wants to expand to 12 more cities in next 6 months and 20 key cities by next year.
It plans to be the pioneer in the dockless bicycle sharing model. The platform has partnered with Jabong and Foodpanda.
Bicycle Market in India
Recently, there has been a lot of buzz in the bicycle share market. Many companies such as Zoomcar, Ola and Yulu announced their entry in the segment. Last week, Ola piloted Ola Pedal in IIT Kanpur. Ola has made around 600 cycles available at spots around the campus which can be booked through its app. Zoomcar also rolled out app-based cycle renting platform starting with 500 bicycles across three cities – Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata.
Delhi-based platform Letzcycle is also operational from October.
Alibaba-backed Chinese bicycle renting startup Ofo, which has raised about $1.3 billion, has also entered the Indian market. According to company’s social media updates by its executive, Ofo’s first port of call in India will be Chennai.
The rental economy is expected grow manifold in next 7-8 years. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the sharing economy will generate potential revenue of $335 billion by 2025 globally.
Amidst the slew of launch ups in the space, Akash said, “Competition is interesting to have. Not everything will be solved by one player in this segment as witnessed in other segments such as e-commerce and payment space. It will be an interesting ride.”
The company finds growth opportunity vast as bike sharing is an untapped market in India. It wants to take city-by-city and university-by university approach. It aims to do 25 thousand rides a day in near future.