‘We built a profitable model without subsidy on battery or scooter’: Yulu’s Amit Gupta | Autocar Professional

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India’s largest shared electric two wheeler mobility company, Yulu’s CEO, Amit Gupta said that the company has built a profitable product without subsidy on the battery or scooter. Gupta spoke about how their product never qualified for a subsidy. “Without subsidy on battery or on the scooter, we have built this profitable model,” he said at the Inner Circle event organised by Autocar Professional in collaboration with AutoDesk. 

Referring to the operating challenges in India as ‘humongous,’ Gupta went on to explain how they innovated on the product side, and are about to hit profitability on EBITDA level soon.

“What we needed was a product which was so simple as a bicycle, should not require a driving licence. We wanted to enable mobility for the people, for the masses. We were clear we have to build it from the grounds up. There were a lot of challenges. People asked to show a trendline but there was nothing,” he
added. 

Gupta further spoke about how they ended up building a battery pack which works in India. “We evolved the battery on the scooter side. So today we are now using 4th generation battery packs.” Gupta saw the need for swappable infrastructure in the country and no one was doing it. Taking the example of Sun Mobility, he said that while they were doing it, they had a bigger battery pack, whereas
Yulu needed a smaller one. 

Part of the EV ecosystem is going after the segment where the battery pack is fixed. There are companies on the low end of the spectrum. In a B2B use case, there’s a need to reduce the downtime of a product and we provide that. With a density of 2 km, every charging station, we are able to put, we give a swapping
of less than 1 minute, so that commercial users, gig workers don’t have to waste time for charging purposes, he says.

Offering mobility and battery as a service 

Explaining that their core model is around TCO (Total cost of ownership), Gupta said the company uses AI to get the best configurations. “Unlike Uber, in our case there is no driver, so the entire business case runs on the fact that there is a vehicle sitting at the place where you are going to need it the most. And we have also seen that if you are asking a user to walk more than 200 metres, the probability of the user taking a Yulu bike is zero.”

They have to not only make sure that there is a Yulu zone but also there is a bike out there when needed. So there is an algorithm based on which we match low to high demand areas.

“For us it’s never a city. It’s a micro market, which is basically a pincode, and within the micro market, we have hundreds of odd distribution places which are again called Yulu zones. We took a very bold step of building this infrastructure for parking, and it was a herculean task. Thanks to govt, private support and
real estate developers, extended help,” he added. 

Taking Bengaluru as an example, he said that there are 3,000 Yulu zones at a pace of 300 metres, and they have an outstanding request to make close to 50,000 Yulu zones. “Good part is that almost 98% of them are free. We don’t have to pay money. So this is a very unique case study of someone like us building infrastructure in the public arena without spending money.”

“Yulu provides urban Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Delhi and Gurugram. It is supported by one of India’s largest AI-powered Battery-as-a-Service (BaaS) platforms, Yuma Energy, as its associate. Yulu riders have travelled more than 450 million km and helped save over 20 million kg of Co2 emissions to date. In February this year, the company raised Rs 160 crore in fresh
funding from Magna and Bajaj Auto.

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