India: Cycle sharing platform Yulu in talks to raise funds from Xiaomi arm, Shunwei, others

Visual from Yulu website

Bengaluru-based cycle sharing platform Yulu, which offers electric cycles and bicycles on hire for last-mile commute, is in advanced talks to raise a Series A round of 100 crore ($15 million) from Chinese investors, including Shunwei Capital, Xiaomi’s venture capital arm, and ex-InMobi chief business officer Atul Satija, according to three people aware of the development.

The two-year-old urban mobility startup has already received commitments from its existing investors, including Blume Ventures, and multiple high net-worth individuals for its Series A round, said one of the persons mentioned above, who asked not to be named.

Yulu’s ongoing Series A round may exceed 100 crore if new investor Shunwei commits in the current round, said another of the persons mentioned above, who also asked not to be named.

The startup was co-founded by ex-InMobi founder Amit Gupta, and veteran entrepreneur R.K. Misra who graduated from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 1989.

If the deal goes through, Yulu’s valuation may be pegged between 350 crore and 400 crore, said the third person, also asking not to be named.

Yulu had last raised $7 million in seed funding from Blume Ventures, Japan’s Akatsuki Entertainment Technology Fund, 3One4 Capital, as well as from individual investors such as Anand Chandrasekaran, Binny Bansal, InMobi co-founder Naveen Tewari, Freshworks co-founder Gireesh Mathrubootham and SlideShare founder Amit Ranjan.

Till date, Yulu has deployed around 1,800 electric vehicles across Bengaluru and Mumbai, apart from its mechanical bicycles that are available in Pune, Greater Mumbai, and Bhubaneswar.

Gupta has said in an earlier interview that Yulu users have completed around 10 million km across it bicycle fleet, 1.2 million app installs (across iOS and Android), and around 20,000 daily active riders.

Recently the company also started testing a pilot for leasing its Yulu Miracle electric scooter.

Gupta did not comment on the funding talks. Shunwei, and Xiaomi did not respond to an email seeking queries until press time.

Yulu is also one of many mobility startups in India that is gaining traction from traditional tech venture capitalists and venture debt investors.

The article was first reported by livemint.com