Bengaluru-headquartered, tech-enabled mobility company Bounce said Thursday it has raised USD 105 million in its Series D funding round led by existing investors, American venture capital firm Accel and Facebook co-founder Eduardo-backed B Capital.
Other existing investors that participated in the round include Chiratae Ventures, Falcon Edge, Maverick Ventures, Omidyar Network India, Qualcomm Ventures, and Sequoia Capital India.
In June last year, Bounce had raised USD 72 million from B Capital and Falcon Edge Capital to give a push to its aspirations of leading a fleet of electric scooters. With this funding round, the company has so far raised over USD 194 million.
Founded in 2014 by Vivekananda H.R., Anil G, and Varun Agni, Bounce allows commuters to pick up and drop motorbikes, bicycles or electric bikes using the app from anywhere in the city at any time.
In a statement, Bounce said, Kabir Narang, General Partner and Co-Head of Asia at B Capital Group will join its board. With the fresh funds, Bounce will focus on “electric vehicle (EV) integration, platform play”, and driving “profitability”.
At present, Bounce finances all its bikes through debt. Although its docked scooter rental services are available in 35 cities, its major operations are consolidated in Bengaluru and Hyderabad where it has a fleet of 130,00 and 2000 vehicles, respectively. Bounce claims that it clocks 120,000 rides per day, and has crossed a total of 16 million rides till date. On average, each Bounce bike is ridden nine times a day.
The company said it needs “tremendous investments” to build the necessary EV tech so as to create an ecosystem around it.
“Accelerating the adoption of EVs will not only help in pushing for sustainable mobility but will also help Bounce to reduce the cost per kilometer,” the start-up said, adding that it aims to become a platform that will offer form agnostic, tailor-made mobility solution to the cities and towns it forays into. Bounce also plans to spend money on expanding its footprints across cities, upgrading its tech infrastructures, and acquiring talent.
“Our growth to 120,000 rides a day, in a little over a year and largely in one city, underlines that the future belongs to shared mobility,” said Vivekananda HR, CEO and co-founder of Bounce. “This fresh funding will….enable us to build a mobility platform that will help to bring in different forms of mobility solutions, that are hyper-suited to the needs of cities and towns we plan to expand into, over the next few months.”
According to B Capital’s Narang, Bounce has the potential to reach “over 200 million customers across the country with a highly engaged community of riders.”
Bounce’s closes competitor Vogo has raised over USD 123 million so far, according to business information platform Crunchbase. It received USD 100 million from mobility giant Ola in December 2018. At the time of the investment, Vogo had said it would use the money to add 100,000 new scooters on its renting platform. It recently raised USD 4 million in its ongoing Series C round from Matrix Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners, and Kalaari Capital. The company is looking to raise a total of USD 50 million in the Series C round to increase its capacity for electric scooters in the country.
Given that the infrastructure in India for electric scooters and bikes is not conducive, earlier this year, India announced to set up 2,636 charging stations for electric vehicles across 62 cities.
“By installing all these charging stations, it is expected that at least one charging station will be available in most of the selected cities in a grid of 4 km x 4 km, which will boost the confidence of users of electric vehicles in terms of range anxiety and also this will encourage the OEMs to launch the new electric vehicle models which they were hesitant because of lack of charging infrastructure,” said Prakash Javadekar, heavy industries minister.
On the other hand, electric scooter renting platforms are working on other alternatives around charging vehicles such as swappable batteries. According to media reports, Bounce is working on creating its own electric scooters and swappable batteries.