Yulu Targets Global Expansion, Optimistic About Bajaj Auto Partnership

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Amit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of the Bengaluru-based startup Yulu believes there are promising opportunities for gig workers to utilize e-bikes in certain areas of the US and ASEAN. He is also enthusiastic about the collaboration with Bajaj Auto, which will accelerate the introduction of new products.

Yulu, a shared mobility startup from Bengaluru, is planning to extend its franchise model beyond its initial launch in Indore, where it has already established a partnership with Yuva Mobility. The company’s expansion will soon include a prominent city in Kerala, followed by another in Tamil Nadu around May, according to Amit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Yulu. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to spread Yulu’s presence across India.

The company is also looking at additional cities where its platform strategy could capitalize on various opportunities. Gupta views the franchise model as a significant learning experience for Yulu, with ambitions to include eight cities by the end of the fiscal year. If successful, this model could pave the way for Yulu’s expansion beyond India, potentially entering several other countries by 2025. Gupta emphasized the importance of being thoroughly confident in their capabilities and the support they provide to their partners, which will also benefit their international ventures.

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Currently, Yulu operates directly in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Delhi, Gurugram, and Bengaluru. The franchise initiative, part of the Yulu Business Partner (YBP) program, aims to scale up the business and attract new users.

Gupta mentioned that while interest from various regions has been high, the capacity to expand has been limited. However, through the franchise model, where partners own and operate the assets, Yulu can expand more effectively. The company is actively seeking partners with the necessary financial strength and enthusiasm to drive the business forward.

Gupta also highlighted potential international opportunities, citing the unique requirements of cities like New York, where Yulu’s e-bike solutions could replace car-based delivery services due to the city’s space constraints. He also sees potential in markets like Bangkok, where the gig worker ecosystem is similar to that of other ASEAN countries.

For the new Tamil Nadu location joining in May, representatives traveled to Bengaluru by train to finalize their partnership, which includes the introduction of 100 Yulu bikes to the city’s streets.

The CEO discussed the global relevance of food delivery, a sector dominated by car deliveries in the West, contrasting with the needs of densely populated cities where e-bikes could be more appropriate. With increasing safety concerns over battery fires, cities like New York are exploring safer alternatives like swappable batteries, presenting an opportunity for Yulu.

Yulu’s future plans also involve significant funding goals, with a recent $19.25 million equity raise from Bajaj Auto and Magna. This funding is part of a larger goal to secure between $50 million and $70 million this year, reflecting confidence in the company’s growth trajectory, heavily supported by the local delivery market. Yulu’s association with major delivery platforms like Swiggy, Zomato, and Zepto has significantly boosted its business, with these collaborations likely to drive future expansion.

Lastly, Gupta shared insights into Yulu’s product development efforts, including a high-speed scooter intended for the e-commerce sector, which is expected to debut in the fourth quarter of this fiscal year. This new product aims to expand Yulu’s total addressable market substantially.

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Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi
Aryaman Raghuvanshi is a Journalist at EFY. His passion is to explore the future of mobility, which gets him to cover latest technologies shaping the future of automobiles and EVs. But, at times he writes on broader technologies too. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/aryaman-raghuvanshi-2431b7153

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