A Goa-based electric vehicle startup, BLive, raised 1 million USD in funding last week. The Pre-Series A funding round led by venture capital firms Mumbai Angels, LetsVenture, Credit Wise Capital, and JITO, was a mixture of debt and equity.
Founded in 2018, BLive started out as a venture to promote sustainable tourism and also make peoples’ transitions from conventional to electric mobility a lot smoother. The company has two legs, EV Tours and the EV Store.
The EV Tours segment provides tourists with guided tours of Goa on electric two-wheelers. They have been signed on as EV Partners with several hospitality firms such as Taj Hotels, Club Mahindra, Airbnb, etc., and are also the official EV Partner of Goa Tourism.
Founders Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee say that the EV Tours services have completed over 10,000 electric bike guided tours so far in 15 cities and have plans to extend their services to over 30 locations in the near future. Their tours’ popularity has seen a growth of nearly three times due to the interest in domestic tourism since the pandemic restricted outstation travel.
BLive launched its online EV store in 2020, stocking top brands of e-cycles and scooters such as Hero Lectro, Hero Electric, Lightspeed, etc. With this leg of their venture, they aim to make the experience of purchasing EVs less daunting by helping customers with choosing based on their preferences, needs, affordability, etc.
Its new exchange and upgrade program even allows customers to trade in their petrol-fueled vehicles for electric two-wheelers in order to lower the cost barrier and encourage the shift to electric vehicles. In just 3 months of operation, the company has delivered to customers in over 25 cities. They plan to include more brands in their stores soon to provide customers a wider range to select from.
Shanti Mohan, the founder of LetsVenture, says that their firm prioritizes funding startups like BLive due to the increasing attractiveness of domestic travel and electric vehicles which have the potential to increase their customer base multiple folds.
BLive had previously raised funds in 2019 in a round led by DNA Entertainment Networks.