In recent years, air pollution has drastically increased in most of the cities in India. Unfortunately, 21 cities of our country are named in 30 most polluted cities in the world in 2019. Premature deaths of 2 million Indians every year happens due to the breathing in polluted air. Emissions from vehicles being one among the main contributors of air pollution, it's become necessary to manoeuvre towards environmentally viable modes of transportation.
With an objective to solve the urban mobility issues along with the increasing air pollution and traffic congestion, Yulu was set on wheels in 2017. Yulu provides an eco-friendly UMaaS - Urban Mobility as a Service which is an affordable, shareble and scalable solution commute option. Let's find out what rides behind the wheels of Yulu.
What does Yulu mean ?
YULU in Chinese word which stands for ‘simple’. The team believes the word describes their products being simple and convenient to use.
China - where it all started :
While operationally active at InMobi, Amit Gupta (Co-founder) had visited China several times for work. He came across the success of Mobike and Ofo, bicycle sharing applications. During those times, he had read that "Didi (cab aggregator in China) reported a 20 percent drop by short trips due to bicycles. Also 8 percent drop in fuel sales were reported". Inspired by the concept in China, Amit dreamt of starting an identical venture with variants to accommodate the Indian needs.
To accomplish his dream, he gathered a team with Naveen Dhachuri, R.K. Misra, Hemant Gupta, co-founders of Yulu along with other professionals. “All of them are passionate about making a huge social impact. That is what we need to focus on.” Amit says.
Driving upheaval in mobility :
Yulu is a technology driven integrated urban mobility platform. It provides a seamless, shared and sustainable first and last mile connectivity using Micro Mobility Vehicles (MMV) integrated with a mobile application.
Yulu uses internet-of-things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and cloud computing to deliver a seamless experience via a user-friendly app.
It operates on dock-less or virtual docking method that can be rented easily on a pay-per-use basis. In simple terms :
● Pick up a cycle or bike from any of the Yulu Zones.
● Unlock the same with iOS or Android app via QR codes.
● Pay through Paytm, Google Pay, PhonePe, UPI, and credit and debit cards.
● Use it for your commute needs.
● Drop it at any of the nearest Yulu Zone.
Need of another innovation : Yulu Miracle
Amit Gupta (Co-founder) drove the yulu bicycle from HSR layout to Indiranagar. “When a seven-minute ride starts taking 45 minutes you know something isn’t right “, he says.
Another EV innovation in February 2019, Yulu Miracle, is a battery operated, unique, easy to ride two-wheeler that has no legal requirements for the helmet, driving license or even a registration plate to operate. Leaving zero carbon footprint, it's an efficient commute option at marginal cost.
Features of Yulu Miracle :
● A maximum speed of 25 km per hour is maintained through a 48-volt motor controller.
● Once charged, light-weight bike (45 kg) can run up to 60 km.
● Real time tracking as the scooter interacts with the server every five minutes.
● Rs. 10 per 10 minutes of ride time along with a fixed pay of Rs. 10.
Electric scooter kits are imported from China and are assembled in India. In 2020, to bring the cost of bikes down, Yulu announced that with the support of Bajaj Auto it will manufacture 100,000 Miracle bikes in Bajaj Auto’s Chetak plant in Pune, Maharashtra. Bajaj Auto also had invested $8 Million in its Series-A Funding November 2019 out of total $15 Million funding till date.
Overcoming the hindrances to achieve success :
● Lack of battery charging infrastructure
Innovation of a unique battery-swapping network solved the problem with a low cost and being highly scalable. An IoT enabled charging box, called Yulu Max, has been made available at hundreds of stores across its operational areas. Real-time tracking of vehicles below a certain level of battery is performed by a back end team, so that they can be charged as and when required.
● High maintenance and low durability
With the minimal use of plastic parts and regular proactive maintenance activities in building of Yulu Miracle, has ensured their good working conditions in all the seasons. Yulu Miracle has been built keeping in mind the ease in maintenance for on-ground team and durability in a shared mobility model.
● Safety of assets
Theft rate of Yulu Miracle is less than 1%, significantly lower as compared to global ride-sharing platforms. This success is achieved through its operational model of drop-off at designated Yulu Zones, and network of local-informers who inform in case of any potential incidents of abuse or theft. Additionally, Yulu has deployed ‘bike-marshals’ who ensure strong consequence-management actions against wrong doers.
Yulu, with its approx. 15,000 eco-friendly vehicles (10,000 bikes and 5000 e-bikes), is currently operating in Bengaluru, New Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Pune, and Bhubaneswar. It envisions to make all Tier-1 Cities and rest of smart cities more smart in future. Targeting its fleet size of 1 million by 2022, vision is to remain largest micro-mobility player of India.
YULU was awarded as "coolest start-up of the Year" by Business Today.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, when most of the business are closed, Yulu is enabling the delivery of essentials for Dunzo, Licious, Lalamove, Medlife, and AutoBrix as these companies are unable to fulfil huge demand for home delivery due to shortage of manpower and unavailability of vehicles. Currently supporting home delivery companies in Bengaluru, Yulu will soon extend support in Mumbai, Pune and Ahmedabad.