Zypp Electric, which operates in the last-mile delivery space, plans to expand its fleet to 10,000 e-scooters over the next 12-14 months and onboard more riders, including women, to meet the surge in demand for its services.
The company, which works with 350 business-to-business (B2B) merchants to carry out last-mile deliveries for them, currently has about 1,000 electric scooters on its platform.
Zypp Electric co-founder and CEO Akash Gupta said the company has onboarded 100 female riders (delivery partners), primarily in Delhi, Noida and Gurugram under a new initiative after one of its partners wanted to have some female riders.
"Then other merchants started saying they would also want (us to onboard) female riders, and so that's one of the missions that we are taking. We would like to have a ratio of 15-20 per cent of our riders to be female as we scale up," he told PTI.
Gupta noted that the company has undertaken a number of steps to ensure safety of the women riders.
"A lot of the security-related issues have been solved by technology, where we give preferential slots and routes to females. And their timing cycles are also different. We also equip them with pepper sprays and the vehicles are customised for better ride experience, and we train them well to ensure that they don't face any challenges," he said.
For Zypp, grocery deliveries is the biggest segment, followed by e-commerce and hyperlocal (food, medicine etc). It handles close to 2 lakh shipments a month, and has already delivered more than 7.5 lakh lakh shipments amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The number of riders will be more than the number of vehicles. We plan to utilise the same vehicle for more than one shift. So the ratio would be anywhere a 25 per cent more number of riders. So we will have about 12,000 riders by December next year," he said.
Gupta said the number of e-scooters on the platform will be ramped up significantly in the coming months.
"We've got 1,000 electric scooters and we growing quite rapidly into expanding this to 10,000 over the next 12-14 months, that's the journey that we are on. And in terms of growth, business has grown almost 4X pre-COVID to post-COVID, both in terms of revenue and number of shipments that we deliver," he said.
Talking about growth, Gupta said there is huge demand for its services as many merchants are looking at deploying eco-friendly solutions across their operations, including last-mile delivery.
"...merchants that we are working with, they want to go electric...We've not just solved the last-mile delivery but we've solved everything around it in terms of the ecosystem, infrastructure and technology to ensure that the riders are getting enough and more orders," he said.
The company's clientele includes companies across segments like e-commerce, food, e-grocery, offline stores and hyper local stores.
Gupta said the company has worked closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to build the right vehicle which is rugged enough to take the load and ride for three to four years without major hassles, and has also worked on battery swapping infrastructure.
The company, which raised USD 3 million in a pre-series A round in October last year from IAN Fund, Venture Catalysts and other angels, currently operates in Delhi, Jaipur, Gurugram, Noida, Ghaziabad and Chandigarh.
"What we are working on is expanding from 6 cities to 25 cities, and 1,000 vehicles to 10,000 vehicles. That's the plan...We definitely want to capture a few more cities in the north like Lucknow, Kanpur along with going into Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad because most of our clients are asking us to get there. So these are the new cities that are in the pipeline for us," he said.
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