Oye! Rickshaw is a platform for aggregating electric rickshaws that operates within a 5-kilometer radius. The company was launched in June 2017 focusing on electric transportation and shared travel in India. With over 5,000 driver partners on its shared, electric, micro-mobility marketplace for e-rickshaws, the firm now has a presence mostly in Delhi-NCR and portions of Haryana.
Though the company is young, it is taking a huge step by planning to invest $500 million over a period of three years. Since the initial wave of Covid-19, the company has made the battery swapping technology their priority. The above-mentioned investment is also aimed at setting up battery swapping stations across India for three-wheelers.
The Boost to The Industry
Many auto drivers have reported that they face an issue charging their autos in the middle of a day. The battery swapping technology will be able to solve that issue to a great extent if it is offered in the right infrastructure. Between 2021 and 2022 the company, which is funded by Matrix Partners, Chiratae Ventures, Xiaomi, and industrialist Pawan Munjal, will invest close to $20-30 million to advance its battery swapping business.
“Talking about the next three years, we are going to invest somewhere close to (USD) 400 to 500 million. That’s a big number as it seems but yes, that sort of investment is going to go in… and talking about a short term view, means this year or maybe next year, we are going to invest close to $20 to 30 million,”
-Oye! Rickshaw CEO and Co-Founder Mohit Sharma
Expanding The Horizon
Sharma stated that the company’s battery-changing business is still relatively young and that about 250-300 driver-partners have been onboarded for battery change. He also stated that by December 2021, the majority of the fleet will be on the swap. In the following five or six months, we intend to quadruple our supply. It was necessary to acquire around 6,500 batteries.
Adaption is The Key
When the initial wave of the pandemic hit, company CEO Mohit Sharma said the firm had to “completely re-calibrate our approach of how we wanted to move forward.” To help its ride business, the company front-loaded the delivery and battery swap” and set a goal of installing 10,000 lithium-ion batteries and expanding the delivery service to ten more locations.
The CEO added, that while the delivery business increased during the second wave, the rides business was hurt by about 80% since people were not traveling, and the battery switching was “essentially flat or with a small influence on it.”. Compared to the previous year the company was hit 100%, this year’s effect was under only 30-40%. The company’s goal now is to return to its original goals by September 2021.
Compared to the previous year, when the firm was hit 100%, this year’s effect was just 30-40%, he said, adding that the company’s goal is to return to its original goals by September 2021.
Moving to The Positive Quadrant
“Right now, we are properly capitalized…also, the economics are working nicely for us,” Sharma added when asked about the company’s finance. As a result, we’re not playing the cash-burning game. In that respect, we’re highly efficient, but we’re also growing at a rate of about 30% each month. I believe the growth rate is acceptable in light of better economic conditions, and we will not be seeking money soon.” And The business raised $12 million last year.
The company believes that, with millions of users, the potential is enormous, and it will only expand when Covid vaccines become more widely available and people respond positively.
Oye! Rickshaw claims to have over 13 lakh registered users and has performed 91 lakh trips and 51 lakh deliveries making it one of the fastest-growing startups in India. The waves the company promised to bring will impact the entire last mile operations in India.