Bounce, a Bangalore-based startup that operates over 15,000 electric and gasoline docked bikes in nearly three dozen cities in India, said today it has raised $105 million in a new funding round as it explores sustainable ways to expand within the nation and build its own electric vehicles.
The new financing round, Series D, was co-led by existing investors Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital and Accel Partners India, said the startup. The new round valued Bounce at a little over $500 million, up from about $200 million in June last year, a person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.
Bounce, formerly known as Metro Bikes, allows customers to rent a scooter and pay 10.5 Indian rupees (15 cents) for each kilometer of the ride. The platform clocks 1.2 million rides each day.
Bounce earlier deployed its own operations team in each city and flooded the market with its scooters, but in recent quarters it has changed the strategy, said co-founder and chief executive Vivekananda Hallekere in an interview with TechCrunch.
“We realized that it was not the smartest move to expand Bounce’s network on our own,” he said. The startup now works with hundreds of mom-and-pop stores in each city, who run their own operations.
To date, Bounce has replicated this model in six cities in India. “We launch in the cities with our own vehicles, but overtime, these micro-entrepreneurs deploy their own scooters. They are still using our app, and are part of the Bounce platform, but they don’t have to be locked into our scooter ecosystem,” he explained.
The change in strategy comes as Bounce looks to cut expenses and find a sustainable way to expand. “Otherwise, I would need a billion dollar of debt to launch a million vehicles in India,” he said.
More to follow…