Yulu Aims For The Sky With Bajaj, Magna

Murali Gopalan
20 Sep 2022
09:00 AM
2 Min Read

Amit Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, Yulu is confident that the trio can take the growth story to new heights in the coming years.

Yulu gets funding from Magna

Amit Gupta, Co-founder & CEO, Yulu, is confident of a new electric mobility powerhouse coming into play with partners, Bajaj Auto and Magna International.

It was last week when the company, which is into shared electric mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) and battery-as-a-service (BaaS), announced the infusion of $82 million led by Magna International, which will see over 500 battery charging and swapping stations commissioned in the next 12 months.

Yulu also has a partnership with Bajaj Auto, which participated in the latest funding exercise and is working on readying the Bengaluru-based start-up’s next generation of electric two-wheelers from its Pune plant.

“We are sitting on a small number of 10,000 units right now and with this funding, we can scale it to 100,000 vehicles over the next year. And over the next 3-4 years, we can have a million plus vehicles in this business model itself,” Gupta told Mobility Outlook.

Beyond this, he continued if “we can pull off the personal mobility scooter story, where we can retail a great world class scooter for INR 40,000”, there would be massive queues of people “coming to us” and getting their energy needs served by the BaaS (battery-as-a-service) backbone. 

“We can reduce the cost of ownership and it will work out to be a win-win situation so long as we get this part right. We are taking confident, clear steps to take the story forward,” added Gupta.

Yulu’s product from Bajaj Auto is scheduled to be ready in November-December this year and he said he was extremely bullish on its prospects. As he put it, in order to change the game, the need of the hour was a suitable Indian product which would go beyond the present offering from Yulu.

The product being developed by Bajaj Auto is “born electric, born shared mobility and born India” which combines the strengths of the insights from Yulu and decades of building world-class products by Bajaj. “It is far more robust, far safer and far more beautiful with a solid road presence,” said Gupta.

Coming Together Of Synergies

Now with Magna coming into the picture, the sky’s virtually the limit for the trio in this alliance. As he explained, it was important for scooters and energy availability (in the form of changing infrastructure) to go hand-in-hand. 

Yulu gets funding from Magna

“With energy and scooters, you need an execution team to figure out the demand and then stitch it together. There are now three big forces where each of us has a responsibility in building it together,” said Gupta. 

While the present model is essentially MaaS (mobility-as-a-service), there is no reason why ownership of the new range of scooters cannot be contemplated as an option either going forward. “We are running late by a couple of quarters because we want to get the BaaS network first laid out. When we run the business in our shared mobility mode, we can control where our bikes are going to be,” he replied. 

When people, on the other hand, are going to be buying these products, this is possible only when large parts of cities are covered with battery swapping centres. 

“The product is ready but the backbone of the energy has to come in. And as per our strategy, we want to make that happen with our shared mobility first before opening up to personal mobility and using it for millions of people. That is where you have Magna coming into the picture,” elaborated Gupta.

According to him, the company will now change gears with Bajaj and Magna, which means the time has come to “reset our ability to execute”, especially when it means scaling up from 100,000 to one million units. Here is where both Bajaj and Magna will play a big role in “bringing that wisdom” into the alliance. This could then take giant strides in the form of entering new markets and new platform opportunities.

“Manufacturing is one area where you need a decade… this is not our area of expertise and we don't intend to reinvent the wheel. Strong partners like Bajaj and Magna can handle the capacity expansion side of the business,” said Gupta. Eventually, it would boil down to the perfect marriage of technology and scale.

Also Read:

Yulu Launches AI-enabled Battery Charging & Swapping Solution ‘Yulu Max Network’

Yulu Partners With Adani Electricity, Plans To Install 500 Battery Swapping Stations In Mumbai

Yulu Introduces DEX For Hyperlocal Delivery, Plans To Deploy 10,000 E2Ws By 2021

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