Electric ride-hailing startup BluSmart’s bid to take Ola’s place with BP’s strategic capital

Electric ride-hailing startup BluSmart’s bid to take Ola’s place with BP’s strategic capital

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Bhumika Khatri

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Bhumika Khatri

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After four years of focusing on one market, 2022 will see BluSmart expand to other Indian metros. Investors are interested since EVs are seen as the future of mobility. Critics, though, believe its asset-heavy approach could hinder scaling, and that its partnership with BP may be a Faustian bargain

August 11, 2022

12 MINS READ

As co-founder of BluSmart, India’s largest electric vehicle cab operator, Punit Goyal has had no dearth of conversations with startups looking to sell their business. According to an investor directly familiar with the matter, one such startup was Bengaluru-based two-wheeler rental company Bounce, co-founded and led by Vivekananda Hallekere.

“Bounce has been exploring selling its shared mobility business, and reached out to BluSmart earlier this year as well. Vivek wants to focus on EV manufacturing and battery infrastructure, and move away from ride sharing,” says the investor. Goyal, however, wants to raise capital on the back of four-wheeler mobility and definitely not do a high-stakes deal this year, adds the investor, explaining why the conversations ultimately came to nought.

The CapTable reached out to Hallekere, who insisted that Bounce has no plans to sell off its scooter rental business. Such a move, however, wouldn’t surprise many in the space. Bounce’s struggles since the pandemic are well documented—having last secured funding in March 2020, the company has seen multiple rounds of layoffs since.

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