Beijing-based bicycle rental start-up ‘ofo’, announced the launch its services in India on Monday. The company announced that the service will tie up with PayTM for payments.
The company announced in press release that it has signed MoUs with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC). The company also announced an ongoing series of pilot launches of the bicycle sharing service in 7 cities Indore, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Coimbatore, and Chennai.
The company label’s it service as dockless, which means the bikes are distributed around the city or campus to be rented per trip instead of dispensing them from one station. The bikes are tracked via GPS, and can be located by users, paid for and unlocked using their smartphones. Media reports suggest that rentals will be priced at $1 per hour.
Founded in 2014, Ofo has operations in over 250 cities across 20 countries with over 200 million global users. In July 2017, the company said that it plans to deploy 20 million new bikes and expand its service to more countries.
Bike rental space in India
In December 2017, cab aggregator Ola had introduced ‘Ola Pedal’, its own bicycle sharing platform, starting with college campuses like IIT Kanpur.
Note that there is a sudden focus on bicycle rental or sharing in India. In November 2017, we found out that InMobi’s co-founder Amit Gupta has started an IoT-enabled bicycle rental company Yulu in Bangalore, which is yet to roll out its vehicles on the road. In October, Self-drive car rental company Zoomcar launched PEDL, a cycle rental service in the country, starting with Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. There are some more players which are already offering bike rental or sharing services via tech platforms in the country, like Letscycle, Rentomo, RentOnGo, Wicked Ride– to name a few.