App-based bicycle-sharing platform Mobike is firming up plans for its entry into the Indian market in the next few weeks and is in advanced discussions with authorities in various cities to start services.
Mobike, which offers services in 16 countries across over 200 cities, was acquired by Chinese firm Meituan Dianping for an estimated USD 2.7 billion last month.
"We are in advanced stages of discussions with authorities of various cities in India and are also looking at smart city projects. We want to be a part of the India story. We are looking at launching our services here in the next couple of weeks," Mobike India CEO Vibhor Jain told PTI.
These cities include Nagpur, Delhi, Bengaluru, Pune and Ahmedabad, among others, he added.
Jain said the company is also in discussions with corporate parks and educational institutes in the country for introducing its platform.
He, however, declined to comment on the investment earmarked for the Indian market or the number of bikes that will be made available for Indian users.
Mobike will compete with the likes of ofo and Ola's Pedal in India. Alibaba-backed ofo has already clocked 1.1 million rides in India by the end of March this year with operations in seven cities, including Indore, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and Pune.
In December last year, Ola said it was piloting bicycles on various campuses in the country to promote use of environment-friendly means of transportation.
There are about nine million bicycles on Mobike's platform, which sees about 30 million rides being taken every day. The two-year old Chinese startup has about 200 million registered users and is present in 16 countries, including the US, the UK, Israel, Germany, France, South Korea and Chile.
Its Internet of Things (IoT)-powered bicycles are equipped with GPS and proprietary smart-lock technology that enable users to find a bike near them, reserve and unlock it using Mobike's app. After reaching their destination, the user can park the bike in any bike-friendly location and lock it, automatically making the bike available to the next rider.
The bicycles feature chainless shaft transmission, have non-puncture airless tires, a lightweight anti-rust aluminum frame, and can offer an estimated four years of repair-free cycling.
Jain said these bicycles will be imported but Mobike will explore local manufacturing after achieving a certain scale of operations.
"Apart from providing an alternative mode of transport for the last mile connectivity, the service will also gather data about usage, helping authorities to develop infrastructure accordingly," he added.
Jain explained that the company is focussing on last mile connectivity, say to the nearest metro or train station.
"There are various use cases for using our services. Some have adopted it for health reasons (cycling) or see it as an independent mode of transport as they don't have to depend on someone to drive them. Some don't want to wait for a cab to show up and don't mind riding 3-4 kms," he said.
He added that the company is also working on various cashless payment modules, both for pay-as-you-go and subscription options.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)