Even in a struggling Asian market for bike-sharing startups, Asian entrepreneurs aren’t backing down on their bets for this form of transportation. This is the case with InMobi co-founder Amit Gupta, who started an IoT-enabled bicycle renting company named Yulu.
Yulu will function through an app that lets users find the nearest dockless bicycle. The user can then unlock the bike by scanning a QR code, and the fee is deducted from a digital wallet.
Yulu came to life with the backing of three senior-level executives with expertise in the Indian startup ecosystem. Along with Gupta are RK Misra, president of Ecosystem Partnerships, and Naveen Dachuri, CTO. Misra founded Tenet Technologies and Traveljini.com, while Dachuri led Ascent-Consulting, where he implemented an analytics platform for US Federal Aviation Administration.
Platforms like Letscycle, Rentomo, RentOnGo, and Wicked Ride cram the bike-sharing ecosystem in India. But the Zoom-backed PEDL and the Jugnoo delivery platform are in better position to compete with the new ventures of Gupta. And Alibaba group is planning to set up shop with Ofo in 2018.
Gupta’s vision goes beyond a platform for bike rides. He intends to provide a “silver bullet” solution to traffic problems in cities across India like Bengaluru. “We need to replace big personal vehicles with smaller and efficient clean energy vehicles. At the same time these vehicles need to scalable and sharable so that the overall cost of ownership is low and the utilization is very high,” Gupta told Harshith Mallya of YourStory.
Mr. Gupta will step down as InMobi, but will continue in the company in some degree of consultant capacities, as he himself told in a public statement following the announcement of Yulu. “I am not leaving InMobi. I have always had a desire to be aligned with a social cause. This idea has germinated into something that finally fulfills this need. Naveen and my fellow co-founders have been an integral part of seeing me through this process. I will continue as co-founder at InMobi minus the operational capabilities.”