Thursday , 17 January 2019

How This Gurgaon-based Startup Solves the Pollution Menace With Green Tech

We are publising an interview of Mr. Akash Gupta, Cofounder & CEO, Mobycy.

Akash Gupta, Cofounder & CEO, Mobycy

About the founders:

  • Akash Gupta is cofounder & CEO has expertise in Marketing, Strategy, BD, Ops & Growth Hacking in E-commerce, Payments, Telecom & IT. Akash Gupta comes with 11+ years in Marketing, Strategy, BD, Ops & Growth hacking in E-commerce, Payments, Telecom & IT. He was VP, Head, Marketing at MobiKwik in his last role and has worked in Snapdeal, Airtel & Dell before.
  • Rashi Agarwal is cofounder & COO. She looks over the operations at Mobycy and has 10+ year experience in Ops, HR, Finance & Admin.
  • Anuj Patel is tech co-founder, who comes with 5+ years of tech experience.

A brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.

  • Akash Gupta was VP Marketing at MobiKwik in his last role and has over 11 years of experience in the Internet Industry by working in MobiKwik, Snapdeal, Airtel, Dell and Infosys.
  • Rashi Agarwal was running her own successful fashion startup LetsFlaunt before founding Mobycy.
  • Anuj Patel, has worked in Amazon and has been responsible for leading Android & technology innovations at Ecom Express in his last role.

List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?

Ans: Our core team members are Vishwajeet Singh, Manu Sharma, Sarvesh Singh & Vipin Kumar.

  1. Vishwajeet Singh, Additional General Manager – Marketing | Design | Alliances who heads Design is also a verified food blogger and was Sr Creative Designer at MobiKwik in his last role.
  2. Manu Sharma, Manager – BTL and Marcomm in his last role was Sr Marketing Executive at MobiKwik and prior to that Marketing Executive at Askme.com.
  3. Sarvesh Singh, Software Developer iOS is responsible for the development of iOS mobile application.
  4. Vipin Kumar looks over the ground operations in his previous role worked at Quality Assurance Manager at Minda Group.

What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans:
Currently people use costlier, inconvenient and time taking means like cabs, autos to cover their last mile which is usually 2-5 KMs from public places like metro stations or tech parks. We’re providing them a new commute option which is readily available (hence no wait) and which is 1/3rd the cost of the next best option available. At the same time, they feel the pride as they’re saving the environment and also decongest traffic. So all in all this is the future of commute which we’re bringing in India by way of dockless e-bikes and e-scooters. Last mile connectivity is a $4.2bn market in India alone.

What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Ans:
The biggest challenge is identifying the key dense areas where people need our solution the most but this is also the biggest OPPORTUNITY for catering the needs of thousands of people.

Another challenge is to smoothen the ground operations and be positive in our unit economics as this is the key to our business.

How did you get the initial capital? Tell us about the investors (if any)
Ans:
Together the founders have invested $20000 and have raised $500k in the angel round from together from Mahfood Alqatari, Venture Catalysts, Apoorv Sharma, Bhaskar Raju and more.

Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans:
We have been using smart bicycles for over a year and now we have added smart e-scooters to our fleet too. Both bicycles and e-scooters are equipped with GPS based IOT locks, to unlock/start them the user has to scan the QR code from the vehicle for our app which is available on both Android and IOS.

Users can find Mobycy vehicles parked in high dense areas where the need for last mile commute is high such as metro stations, corporate tech park, residential societies, etc. They simply walk to the vehicle and scan the QR code from the vehicle through our app and that unlocks / start the vehicle, after that they can use the vehicle to travel to their last mile destination and park for others to use and end the ride from the app.

What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
Ans:
We’re the 1st entrant in Indian market with 250k+ users now, we’ve got operational experience doing BikeShare out in the cities of India for the 1st time.

We have top brand awareness vs. everyone else and are the 1st to launch e-bikes, e-scooters in India on shared mobility. We’re the 1st company to crack bike advertising model with 50% of fleet now generating ad revenues and 1st to crack exclusive B2B tie-ups to create unique market share & revenue stream.

Our app has the Best app ratings (4.2+) in the market in the bike share market vs. competitors. We have in-house unique QR based IOT technology for keyless locks for all bicycles, e-bikes & scooters in India and are hugely ROI driven management, all of this is done by Mobycy is the most limited capital available.

We’re a DIPP StartupIndia certified & only player in the entire north solving the last mile problem with single minded focus of solving last & first mile connectivity vs. others having many ambitions. We have a fast moving, nimble & fully committed team driven towards making a mark in India & beyond. We also have strong alliances with several city administrations and can expand to 15 cities within 4-6 weeks & make Indians adopt this fast like we’ve made Gurgaon shift to our Green cycles.

We’re Made in India & Make in India with 100% commitments from a strong team.

What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Ans:
We’re the 1st entrant in Indian market with 250k+ users now, we’ve got operational experience doing BikeShare out in the cities of India for the 1st time.

We have top brand awareness vs. everyone else and are the 1st to launch e-bikes, e-scooters in India on shared mobility. We’re the 1st company to crack bike advertising model with 50% of fleet now generating ad revenues and 1st to crack exclusive B2B tie-ups to create unique market share & revenue stream.

Our app has the Best app ratings (4.2+) in the market in the bike share market vs. competitors. We have in-house unique QR based IOT technology for keyless locks for all bicycles, e-bikes & scooters in India and are hugely ROI driven management, all of this is done by Mobycy is the most limited capital available.

We’re a DIPP StartupIndia certified & only player in the entire north solving the last mile problem with single minded focus of solving last & first mile connectivity vs. others having many ambitions. We have a fast moving, nimble & fully committed team driven towards making a mark in India & beyond. We also have strong alliances with several city administrations and can expand to 15 cities within 4-6 weeks & make Indians adopt this fast like we’ve made Gurgaon shift to our Green cycles.

We’re Made in India & Make in India with 100% commitments from a strong team.

What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Ans:
Our strength is our users and they care about us due to the following reasons-

  1. We help them save money.
  2. We help them save time.
  3. We help them stay fit.
  4. We help keep the country free from traffic, pollution.

What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Ans:
We follow a Premium revenue model in which the users pay a very nominal charge after they have used our vehicles to solve their last mile commute needs. We also provide free first ride for every new user. Users can ride the bikes at the price of Rs5/15 min and the e-scooters at Rs 1/min with a Rs 5 unlocking charge.

Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
Ans:
Primary customers are young working professionals who struggle to reach their office from metro stations or bus stand which are usually 1-3kms away. They want to save time, money & also stay fit. 2nd biggest set are students in large universities.

What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans:
We want to change the way people travel to their last mile destinations. We want to decongest the roads and provide a eco-friendly solution which is also economical on pocket and time. Imagine people get down from their home or offices and there’s a fleet of electric vehicle that they can use to travel to their offices or metro stations and vice versa. We are working towards the aim that people stop using their personal vehicles and only use shared vehicles for their last mile needs.

Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
Ans:
Since our inception we have saved 500+ tonne of carbon emission, we are currently operational in 2 cities with 120k+ monthly rides by with a 250k+ downloads. We’ve raised $0.5mn from a clutch of angel investors and are on course to raise a $10mn from VCs as we speak

What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Ans:
We plan to deploy 25k additional Zypp e-Scooters within the next 6 months to expand our reach and availability and we also plan to streamline our on-ground operations completely.

Mobycy introduces Zypp

What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans:
The startup journey is way too exciting as well as way to challenging, but one thing is for sure, that it’ll give you the time of your life. So better jump into it and experience the ride 1st hand with a super solid positive attitude and optimism. Fail fast and focus on data to win in business, the journey will be worth every moment spent.

Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi observed the e-scooter Zypp and spoke affirmatively about the same.

Any other information you would like to share:
Ans:
2018 has been an amazing year for us. We won the best startup award in Niti Aayog’s PitchtoMove competition, best startup in STAMP18 where we got Toyota Mobility as a partner. We also got an angel funding round from VCats who became our 1st Indian group backers. It has been a great ride and we are sure 2019 will mark a glorious year as we make billions of Indians move on our special e-scooters making their lives convenient and their commute affordable.

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