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In the midst of the automobiles slowdown, motorcycles and cycles on hire are the easiest way out to commute given the rising price of fuel and dwindling growth in consumption.

Like ride-hailing cabs Uber and Ola, Yulu Bikes, launched in 2018 is into lending of vehicles but only Electric Vehicles and Miracle bicycles. It was started by Amit Gupta, RK Mishra, Hemant Gupta and Naveen Dachuri with seed funding and raised $7 million in March 2019. It is backed by investors Wavemaker Partners, Blume Ventures, 3One4, Grey Cell Ventures, and Incubate Fund India.

Yulu was founded to solve traffic congestion and its byproduct–air pollution it causes. “One-third  of the air pollution in a city is caused by vehicles. At Yulu, our mission is not only to reduce the traffic but also do something about the air pollution caused by traffic,” said Amit Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO of Yulu Bikes.

The only thing that Gupta wanted in the vehicle was that besides being driven by humans, it should run on battery power so that it causes no harm to the environment, he said. The EVs and cycles are designed and manufactured in China and assembled in India. Yulu means simple in the Chinese language, says Gupta and he zeroed on it for his vehicles.

How does it work

Every bike has an IoT device. This makes the bikes and cycles trackable. So the backend at Yulu is always in the know of the exact location of the vehicle when lent. The device in the vehicle sends data to the server every five minutes. It has its own sim card, its own GPS, and Bluetooth.  The user has to download the Yulu app and then get on to hiring it. A QR code is sent which can be scanned on the bike which unlocks it and the user can take it anywhere.  A user can take a bike or cycle from marked areas which is mentioned in the app. The vehicle can be left at any destination mentioned where Yulu has a slot.  The payment is made on Yulu app.  From renting to returning to paying, everything is on a Do-It-Yourself basis.

The charges are Rs 10 for 30 minutes for using a cycle while the payment for electric scooter starts at Rs 10 and goes to Rs 10 every 30 minutes.

Yulu is available usually near metro stations and bus stations.

The bike cannot be tampered with as it is made from one piece, said Gupta. The wheels don’t don’t puncture. However, when it gets stolen (almost 60 percent of the time) but it is traced almost immediately, he said.

Yulu was launched in Bengaluru and is now available in Mumbai, Pune, Bhubaneswar besides Delhi where it was launched on Sunday.

“With the launch of our operations in Delhi, we are providing a green commute option to the residents of Delhi and are committed to expanding our services to the whole NCR region. We are proud to collaborate with DMRC for a common vision of better first and last-mile connectivity, reducing congestion and improving air quality,” Gupta said.

Yulu plans to extend its services to all the metro stations in the NCR by early 2020, by deploying up to 25,000 Yulu Miracles.