Bounce Startup Story

Bounce Startup Story – Do Indians Deserve It?

India started adopting the idea of renting cabs after Ola and Uber revolutionized the commute system. But there was still a gap for bikes. This gave birth to the famous bike rental startup – Bounce.

Renting a cab is fine but what if someone needs a quick ride somewhere around? Cabs are not feasible everywhere.

Moreover, what if a group of students wants to travel around on two-wheelers? Hostelers don’t even have bikes. So, bike rental services can be a good option for such use cases.

How does Bounce app works?

You need to install the Bounce app on your smartphone and register. Based on the location, bikes will be shown on the map. Follow the path and take the bike. Entering the OTP will unlock it and you are free to ride it.

Your location will be tracked using GPS. Once your ride is completed, you can park the bike anywhere and leave it. But make sure you park it at a safer place.

Charges are as less as Rs 6/km. Currently, this service is only operational in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore, Vadodara, Vijayawada & Jaipur.

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Story of bike-sharing platform Bounce

Bounce is a Bangalore-based startup that initiated as a scooter-rental service in 2014.
WickedRide is the parent company of Bounce and they used to rent luxury bikes like Harley Davidson, Royal Enfield, Triumph, etc.

As the time passed, WickedRide decided to cater masses by renting out the scooters. The approach was different.

Unlike Ola or Uber, Bounce bought all the scooters & bikes to rent them. If you don’t know, Ola and Uber don’t own a single car. Their cabs are owned by drivers.

This bike-rental startup raised more than $200 Million in 9 funding rounds till now. Biggest investors are Sequoia Capital India, Accel India and many others.

The idea was good. The Bounce team implemented it well. Everything was looking perfect on paper but practically things started moving out.

Reason? People simply don’t deserve such initiatives.

What went wrong?

Bounce invested all the funding amount in buying new scooters & bikes. They planned to expand the brand in multiple cities. But this turned out to be the biggest mistake.

The business model could never become asset-light and scalable because buying new scooters and maintaining them is a costly affair. Importantly, some users misused the whole service and exploited the vehicles.

People not only drove the vehicles rashly but they vandalized the bikes. Several incidents and reports mentioned that scooters were left in gutters, homes, and the worst possible places. Some users took out the spare parts and sold them.

Bounce bikes damages and vandalism

As a result, the company started facing heavy losses. Operating vehicles is not a big deal. They calculated it well. But these expenses were unexpected and that burned a hole in the startup’s pocket.

No company bears the expenses. It affects the good customers as well as the society.

According to Economic Times, Bounce fired 40-60% of its employees in February 2021.
Even in June 2020, company laid off around 22% of its work force due to lockdown in India.

Revenue Model of Bounce Sharing

Bounce soon realized that they need to change the business model and operations. So, they started expanding in multiple verticals.

  • Bike renting – No doubt, this is the core business model where they rent their bikes and earn money from users.
  • Bounce Loop – Allows vehicle owners to rent their vehicles on Bounce and earn money from two-wheelers. As a platform, the company takes some commission out of it. Good initiative since many people have their bikes at home without the need of commuting daily.
  • Bounce Mechanic – Company has a workforce for servicing their vehicles. As a two-wheeler owner, you can directly hire these experts for your vehicle’s maintenance.
  • Bounce Shield – This is a subscription for vehicle owners where Bounce will help them out during unwanted calamities like running out of fuel, punctures, or even vehicle breakdown. If you own a two-wheeler, this can be a good protective measure for you.
  • Bounce Suite – This is a CRM platform for all the business owners in the auto industry. It gives several features to get customers and manage them. In return, Bounce charges for that.
  • Selling Vehicles and Accessories – The company sells EVs, scooters, used bikes, helmets, and several accessories. Most importantly, Bounce has entered the segment of electric vehicles recently.

In short, you will notice how this startup has evolved to bring products related to vehicle owners and not on rental services.

Skills and Technology Required at Bounce

DevelopersHTML5, jQuery, PHP, jQuery, Nginx, Bootstrap, MySQL,
MarketingFacebook, Digg
DevOps & ITAmazon AWS, WordPress, Akismet, GoDaddy DNS
ProductivityG-Suite, Whatsapp Business
AnalyticsGoogle Analytics, Hotjar
Bounce Share Office in Bengaluru
Bounce Bengaluru Office | Image Source: 91Springboard Twitter

You can apply for job openings through the official careers page of Bounce. Office is located in Bangalore.

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2 thoughts on “Bounce Startup Story – Do Indians Deserve It?”

  1. I agree that the people misuse it. I even saw pictures of people taking away helmets..

    But, if you observe in Goa services on similar lines to rent bikes and scooties are operated, but we never hear about any such incidents. Means there is some loophole in system that needs to be addressed…

    1. Yes, it’s a huge success in Goa. Because it’s different. You need to return it to someone. And they take deposits.
      Bounce is different. You take bikes randomly, use them and leave.

      Same for ZoomCar. They never faced such issues.

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