Underlining its commitment to drive innovation through disruption, Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, recently participated in a pre-Series A investment worth INR 4.5 crore for ONN Bikes, a Mumbai-based self-drive bike rental platform. The funding was led by existing investor Z Nation Lab and also saw participation from JITO Angels. Several prominent VCats angels such as Jayesh Parekh (Sunidhi Securities), Pankaj Harlalka (Narnolia Capital), Gaurav Gandhi, Nikunj Pachisia, and Vijay Lakhani were also amongst those participating in the funding round.

The newest entrant in the emerging Indian self-drive motorbike rental market, ONN Bikes has registered remarkable growth in the last one year and is one of the fastest growing companies in the space. Having launched in November 2016 with an aim to redefine daily commute in India by way of rented two-wheelers, it has swiftly expanded its operations to cover major Indian cities through B2B bike leasing as well as short-term rentals. ONN Bikes is also currently the only player in its domain to have ventured into long-term vehicle leasing.

Speaking on the investment, Namit Jain, Founder and CEO of ONN Bikes, said, “We are excited to have secured pre-Series A investment from Z Nation Lab, JITO Angels, and Venture Catalysts. Their vast expertise and combined networking capabilities will help us immensely in achieving our expansion goals by covering more cities and finding strong franchise partners. We are confident that, with such experienced investors and mentors on our side, we will solve major transportation challenges for the Indian market and establish ONN Bikes as the leading player in the self-drive bike rental domain.”

Pushp Mitra Das, Lead investor with Z Nation Lab, added, “We led the follow-on investment round because we have faith in the strong foundation that the ONN Bikes team is creating. The consistent growth with negligible cash burn and strong B2B partnerships speaks highly of the team’s execution capabilities. We have full faith that ONN Bikes will be able to sustain the growth momentum and continue growing at an accelerated pace.”

The incoming funds will be utilised by ONN Bikes to build a stronger technology base, increase the fleet size, expand to more cities, and promote its franchisee model. With some of the biggest names in the industry – including Ola, Uber, and Swiggy – already amongst its growing clientele, the start-up also plans to expand its range to electric vehicles in the coming months. The company currently operates in 5 major states of India, and has earlier raised two seed rounds from Z Nation Lab and Grace Capital Ventures.

Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President – Venture Catalysts, said, “Venture Catalysts is committed to revitalising and revolutionising the Indian start-up landscape by facilitating funding and mentoring opportunities for high-potential start-ups. Having undertaken in-depth research and viability analysis, we are delighted to say that ONN Bikes stood out from other start-ups in this space, thanks to the tremendous growth and market response that it has garnered. The numbers speak for themselves, and we’re very confident that ONN Bikes has the potential to be a key player in the sector, both within India and on a global stage.”

“The advent of the sharing economy in India and the rise of bike rental space in China are positive signs for this segment in India. This is the right time for bike rental market in India,” added Mr. Piyush Mehta, JITO lead investor.

Venture Catalysts has established itself as a game-changer in the Indian entrepreneurial landscape by facilitating start-up development across multiple geographies, supported by an entire ecosystem of catalysts, angel investors, management consultants, and advisors. Moreover, it enables mentoring and seed funding opportunities through angel investments and supports services for the start-up community, helping highly disruptive early-stage ventures

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