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Dunzo set to launch bikesharing service in Gurugram

Dunzo, the Google backed concierge-like startup is reportedly set to expand its offerings by launching a new bikesharing service in Gurugram, a report by the Economic Times said. The company sees the bikesharing service as an extension of its current business model, given the extensive fleet of bikers for pick up and drop service it already possesses.

“Deliveries are horizontal, it doesn’t matter what you are delivering,” said the founder of Dunzo, Kabir Biswas to ET. “On an average, traffic for food delivery is 6 hours; morning, afternoon, lunch and dinner, and 4 hours for transportation traffic. Dunzo traffic is almost for 20 hours already. In an effort to make sure that we optimise our delivery men, it’s important that we get in to the bike-sharing model,” he added. According to a report by Entrackr, the bike sharing service is currently piloting phase in Gurugram.

Competing with the giants

Dunzo’s bikesharing service will be competing against SoftBank backed Giants Ola Bike and UberMoto, which are the dominant players in the segment. To make things tougher for Dunzo, media reports also suggested that the Indonesian last mile transportation and services company, Go-Jek is also set to enter the Indian market.

Although bikesharing as a service has been active in India for a while now, there have been no major success stories to speak of. The Times of India also reported last March that in Haryana, bike taxis players like Dot, TuWheelz, Rideji had shut down;  Bangalore based companies like Headlyt, Heybob, and Zingo have also had to shut shop. A few other similar companies with little or no success shifted focus to deliveries, the report added. Most reports cite the lack of clarity on government regulations as a major reason for the failures of these services. Furthermore, the inability of the startups to match to the heavy subsidies offered to customers and drivers alike by players like Uber and Ola caused heavy damage.

However, Dunzo plans to emulate the success it has had in its existing segment into the bikesharing service and has a strategy in place. “Deliveries is a tricky business. Pillion, pick/drop, food, quick consumables are generally the four funnels of delivery business. We were already present in the last three. The last two is expected sometimes to be free of delivery charges. So what businesses need to do is take the money from the first two funnels and pump into the remaining two. Like I said, Dunzo Bike is the most natural progression of growth for us,” Biswas says.

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Dunzo is an app-based service that lets users hire ‘partners’, who in turn, run errands for them or carry out odd jobs on their behalf. It currently focuses on four main categories: shipping packages from point to point, buying and delivering, home service & repairs. Having launched in 2015 in Bangalore, the company developed a cult like following and subsequently raised about $14.5 million from across three rounds, including from Google.

The company currently has 4,000 riders, covering a major chunk of Bengaluru, and it hopes the numbers will rise to 25,000 by the end of 2018.  The same report also said that the company hopes to undertake 1 lakh tasks per day by 2018 from around 1.2 lakh tasks every month it has at present.

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