Yulu: Environmentally Viable Mode of Transportation for the Last Mile

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A good transportation system is a must for the development of any country. However, most of the modes of transportation we are using today are damaging our environment and causing severe air pollution. Air Pollution has become a matter of serious concern in most of the cities of India, and our country unfortunately is home to 14 of the world's 15 most polluted cities.

Wikipedia says that Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of 2 million Indians every year. Emissions from vehicles being one of the major contributors to air pollution, it has become necessary to move towards environmentally viable modes of transportation.

Addressing these issues, Yulu has come up with a perfect solution. Yulu caters to urban mobility and its products are super comfortable and ergonomically designed to facilitate the easy shift from conventional vehicles.

With time, Yulu has grown to become a movement because it is solving the complex problem of first and last-mile connectivity while also helping alleviate the challenges of congestion and air pollution. Know more about Yulu, its founders, business model, revenue model, funding and more.

Yulu - Company Highlights

  • Startup Name-Yulu
  • Headquarter-Bangalore 
  • Sector-Travel & Transportation, Electric Vehicles
  • Co-founders-Amit Gupta, Naveen Dhachuri, RK Misra, Hemant Gupta
  • Founded -August 2017
  • Parent Organization-Yulu Bikes Pvt Ltd.
  • Valuation-$83 Million (As of Jun 04, 2021)

Yulu - About and How it works

Yulu is a technology-driven mobility platform to enable Integrated Urban Mobility across public and private modes of transport. Using Micro Mobility Vehicles (MMV) through a user-friendly mobile app, Yulu provides a seamless, shared and sustainable first and last-mile connectivity. Yulu platform is simple, robust, scalable, supports multiple vehicles, and uses a common information model.

Yulu uses IoT, Machine learning & AI and Cloud computing to deliver a seamless experience via a user-friendly app. Using IoT as the backbone of the operation, their dock-less vehicles can be rented seamlessly on a pay-per-use basis. Users can book a ride via the iOS or Android app and the smart bikes can be unlocked via QR codes.

After running the service with bicycles and understanding the need of the market, they decided to add electric mobility to their service. Looking at the gap in the market, they decided to design “Yulu Miracle” which is a unique battery operated, lightweight, easy to ride, small 2 wheeler.

Yulu Miracle

Yulu Miracle has a maximum speed of 25 kmph and it comes under the exempted category where there is no requirement for a driving license or helmet. It has been enabling individuals to take eco-friendly rides at pocket-friendly prices and reduce their carbon footprint. Yulu Miracle is using swappable lithium-ion battery and has developed highly scalable networking of charging stations.

Currently, Yulu imports electric scooter kits from China before assembling them in India. In 2020, Yulu announced that it will manufacture 100,000 Miracle bikes in Bajaj Auto’s Chetak plant in Pune, Maharashtra. This will help Yulu to bring down its cost. Bajaj Auto also invested $8 Million in Yulu in November 2019. There are currently about 4000 Yulu bikes running on the Indian roads.

Currently, Yulu is operating in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Bhubaneswar and Delhi. With the increase in the number of e-bikes, the company is planning to expand to 56 cities across India, soon.

The team at Yulu is driven by three guiding principles of urban mobility- Accessibility, Availability and Affordability. In the process, they are empowering Indian city dwellers to bring about a paradigm shift by making urban commute efficient and eco-friendly.

"We are passionate about design and innovation for urban mobility. We understood early in the journey that the form factor will play a major role while scaling Yulu services across the country. With this view, we invested our bandwidth in designing India’s first sharing-friendly smart bicycle, “Yulu Move” that is suitable for our local cultural and usage patterns"- Amit Gupta

Yulu provides an eco-friendly UMaaS (Urban Mobility as a Service) which is an affordable and scalable solution for the first and last-mile commute options for citizens. Their vehicles are designed for shared micro-mobility for Indian climatic and road conditions.

Technology is at the core of Yulu, as they are harnessing technology to solve complex urban mobility problems using unique and smart vehicles. Their belief in data-driven business has led them to develop ML/AI models powered by data gathered from Users/IoT devices to provide a better user experience and increase operational efficiency.

Yulu - Industry

Globally, urban mobility is witnessing a historic shift from vehicle ownership to Mobility-as-a-service. The future of urban mobility is Shared & Sustainable which is Always Available, Easily Accessible & Commonly Affordable.

Micromobility’s potential extends well beyond connecting people to mass transit, more than 60% of the trips in big cities are of less than 5 Km and Yulu is targeting this segment through its eco-friendly vehicles designed for a single passenger and sharing usage model.

Yulu's core target group is young millennials, working professionals and college students in Tier 1 & Tier 2 / Smart cities of India.

Yulu - Founders and Team

Hemant Gupta, Amit Gupta, RK Misra & Naveen Dachuri are the Founders of Yulu.

Founders of Yulu, Hemant Gupta, Amit Gupta, RK Misra & Naveen Dachuri

Founders of Yulu | (From left) Hemant Gupta, Amit Gupta, RK Misra & Naveen Dachuri

Amit Gupta

Amit graduated from IIT Kanpur and received the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award from the institution. Amit formerly co-founded profitable, billion-dollar startup InMobi. Amit played an instrumental role in building InMobi’s revenue engine and its expansion in15+ countries.

Prior to starting Yulu, Amit built a new business unit for InMobi that created massive value for Telecom Operators and Smartphone manufacturers. Amit comes with experience in scaling up and building businesses from scratch.

RK Misra - President - Ecosystem Partnerships, Yulu

He founded and successfully exited Tenet Technologies (Sold to Hughes) and Traveljini (sold to ICICI Ventures) post which he decided to leave the corporate world to engage with the issues of Public Policy & Governance.

RK is associated with several organizations like Carnegie India, Center for Smart Cities (Founder), SAHYOG (Founder), and Karnataka CM's Vision Group. He did his graduation from IIT Kanpur and a master's from Tokyo University. He is also a Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School of Govt and Aspen Institute.

Naveen Dachuri 

He played a leadership role at Ascent Consulting where he architected and implemented a complex analytics platform for US Federal Aviation Administration from the ground up.

Prior to that, he was Technical Director for Data Analytics at BIAS Corporation. He also co-founded Learnora, an online educational platform. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from IIT Kanpur and a Master’s degree in Computer Graphics from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea (GIST).

Hemant Gupta 

After his MBA from Symbiosis, Pune, Hemant joined A.P. Moller- Maersk as part of their highly acclaimed global talent management program. After achieving global recognition in Maersk for his stellar performance, he moved to The Netherlands. In his 14 years of professional journey, Hemant has delivered impressive results across the various management roles he has held in logistics and supply chains. Hemant is passionate about travelling, the tech domain and some other habits he picked up from the Netherlands, like fitness and biking!

Currently, Yulu is 70+ full-time staff strong. Additionally, they have 160 field staff who are responsible for on-ground Operations. Attitude and eagerness are the icebreakers to be working at Yulu. They strongly believe that the role of senior management is to inspire people to achieve extraordinary outcomes by giving them the clarity of purpose, the required resources and the freedom to execute.

We prefer to spend quality time with the team in explaining the “WHY” and discuss the "WHAT” and leave “HOW” part of them. Another thing we value a lot is the sense of ownership. If someone is passionate and is taking ownership, the success rate of that mission increases significantly. Last but not least, we believe that someone works hard, nothing is impossible to achieve. - Amit says describing Yulu's work culture

Yulu - Startup Story

The vision to do something for creating a bigger impact on society was the start-off point for the founding team of Yulu. Traffic congestion and air pollution were the problems which gained their attention and thus, they built Yulu, focusing on solving urban mobility problems and addressing the rising air pollution and traffic congestion issues

It is the only company in the country, in the micro-mobility segment operating with swappable battery solutions for EVs. They have embarked on a journey with multiple hardware innovations ranging from unique battery charging stations to developing various ML/AI models, IoT devices, etc.

As pioneers in this space, Yulu has influenced several policies for sustainable mobility in India. The Yulu team has built a technology platform focused on micro-mobility and is harnessing technology to solve complex urban mobility problems using its unique and smart vehicles.

Yulu - Name, Tagline and Logo

Yulu in Chinese translate to simple. The team at Yulu believed this aptly describes their products as they are simple and convenient to use.

Yulu - Revenue Model

The Yulu platform works on a pay-per-use model, a first time user needs to register on the app with a refundable security deposit. The  Yulu MOVE +  Yulu MIRACLE plan requires a refundable deposit of Rs. 250.

One can ride a Yulu at a very affordable price. The cost of riding a Yulu Miracle is Rs 10 to start and Rs 10 for every 10 minutes for Miracle usage. Yulu Move users pay Rs 10 for the first 30 minutes and Rs 5 for the subsequent 30 minutes.

One can also pause the trip anywhere and keep the vehicle overnight by paying an additional charge. Their revenue model also includes exclusive mobility solutions for corporates. Yulu is building a holistic ecosystem for Micro mobility with Cities, Corporates, and Citizens along with various OEMs and Policy Makers.

Yulu - User Acquisition

The Yulu team has utilised word of mouth marketing for their initial market reach. Nevertheless, the unique design of the products created inquisitiveness to try the product once!

They have acquired more than 1.5 million customers with zero user acquisition cost, it’s the uniqueness of the products which helped them in acquiring the customers along with solving the pain points of first and last connectivity for the customers.

Today Yulu is changing the way Indians are moving in big cities. They believe Electric Vehicles are the future of mobility, for known reasons like good quality of air and their vehicles are setting the trend for EV adoption in the big cities of India.

Yulu - Startup Challenges

Public transport in India is dependent on fossil fuels, and it can be a burden on the common man in terms of affordability. The ecosystem for the development of electric vehicles is at a nascent stage compared to other countries.

According to the team Yulu, there are 2 challenging factors in introducing the 'Yulu' concept in India

Primarily, changing the mindset of the people.

Secondary, there is a need for partners of the ecosystem to think alike

Thankfully, the first signs of change in mindset and adoption are already visible. Compared to 3 years ago, the trend of the cycle has grown. There are classic examples right from CEOs to individual employees choosing an eco-friendly mode of transport to work. They are also aware of the bad air and want to reduce the carbon emitted by all the fuel-based vehicles.

The Yulu team believes that with help from Government agencies and private organizations, they can work better towards making Indian cities pollution-free.

Yulu - Growth and Revenue

Yulu has the largest fleet of bicycles or e-bikes in India, with 10,000 bikes (known as Yulu Move) and close to 5000 e-bikes (known as Yulu Miracles). Yulu now has 1.5 million registered users and is currently present in Bengaluru, New Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Pune, and Bhubaneswar.

The company is on their way to annualized operating revenue of Rs 9.12 crore during FY20. The company earned Rs 85 lakhs in operating revenue during FY19,

Yulu claims to do between 30,000-35,000 rides a day, of which 12,000-13,000 comes from its electric scooters. Ride-hailing giant - Uber has also partnered with them for making urban commute efficient and eco-friendly.

Yulu - Future Plans

Their goal is to run the Yulu service in all Tier 1 and the rest of the Smart cities in India. They envision being the largest micro-mobility player in India and increasing its fleet size to 100,000 electric two-wheelers by December 2020 from 15,000 vehicles at present and 1 Million by 2022. The company is also planning to launch their service outside of India by forming strategic partnerships.

Yulu - Faqs

What is Yulu?

YULU is a technology-driven mobility platform to enable Integrated Urban Mobility across public and private modes of transport. It offers Yulu Miracle and Yulu Move

Who owns Yulu?

Hemant Gupta, Amit Gupta, RK Misra & Naveen Dachuri are the founders of Yulu.

What is the price of Yulu Miracle?

Yulu Miracle price:

  • Rs. 10 to unlock the vehicle
  • Rs. 10 for every 10 minutes
  • Pause Charges – Rs. 5 for every 10 minutes from 10 am to 6 pm and a maximum of
  • Rs. 90 between 6 pm to 10 am

Can I drop Yulu anywhere?

After the use, the rider can park the cycle in the dedicated cycle space.

Does Yulu require helmet?

Meant for one commuter, Yulu scooters have a 48-volt motor controller, a maximum speed of 25 km per hour, and require no licence or helmet for usage.

Is Yulu an Indian company?

Yes, Yulu is an Indian company founded by Hemant Gupta, Amit Gupta, RK Misra & Naveen Dachuri.

Is Yulu available in Mumbai?

Yulu was launched in Bengaluru and is now available in Mumbai, Pune, Bhubaneswar, and Delhi.