2018 was the year New Delhi was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons for its severely degraded air quality, and 14 of India’s cities made it to the list of the globe’s 20 most polluted cities. A large part of this problem stems from the ceaseless traffic that chokes our cities. Because infrastructural growth has not been able to keep pace with the rate at which vehicles are being added onto Indian roads, congestion levels in Kolkata and Bangalore stand at alarmingly high rates of 171% and 162% respectively, while Delhi is not far behind with congestion pegged at 129%. Precious man hours, money, the health of citizens and the future of mobility is at stake. We were convinced about the need for an intervention. We were passionate and committed to significantly improving urban mobility in Indian cities – and this dream powered Yulu!
Yulu started its operations in India in January 2018 and what a transformative year it has been! Yulu sought to solve for improved urban mobility, by improving last-mile connectivity. We are determined to influence user behaviour, and entice consumers to ditch their personal vehicles and on-demand cab facilities, in favour of using public transportation that they can get to using Yulu! This problem is now being fought globally by innovative companies like Ofo and Mobike in China, and Lime & Bird in the USA.
Yulu has a simple, powerful proposition centred on micro-mobility. Use the Yulu app to find a shared, dockless vehicle near you, hop-on, ride and hop-off, for an affordable, fast, clean, environmentally-friendly, healthier alternative to being stuck in a traffic jam to and from the metro, bus station, work, home, school, or the gym.
Exhibit 1 – Yulu’s Journey Map in Bangalore
IoT, GPS and QR code-enabled technology make it a breeze to pay for your ride, and dockless means you can deposit the bicycle when you are done! Voila, you have begun solving the daily commute problem, one Yulu at a time.
While it was not all smooth-sailing 2018 taught us a lot. Micro-mobility was not just a buzzword for us. We learnt from the failures and successes of our peers, across the globe. We experimented, failed fast, fixed issues and reaffirmed our belief. Yulu is in it for the long haul, and along the way, we have succeeded in busting many myths. We have made breakthroughs and shut up our critics who doubted that we will be able to succeed in an execution-heavy business that requires a lot of support from external entities.
With over half a million app installs and a growing ecosystem of users powered sheerly by word of mouth, we are looking to continue expanding our fan base. In November 2018, 45% of our users took 2+ rides on the same day. This is proof that Yulu is changing the way people commute.
Exhibit 2 – Yulu’s loyal users expressing their views on the Social Media
This would not have been possible without the support of our investors, ecosystem partners, the government, loyal champions and early adopters like yourself! 2019 will be critical for us as we continue to innovate and influence user behaviour. We believe 2019 will be a transformative year for micro-mobility in India. We hope that you will motivate us to make progress every day towards our vision to transform urban mobility, one Yulu ride at a time.
Join me in this New Year, as together, we will #PedalTheChange.