Express Bike Wash, an India-based automated motorcycle washing machine that’s been testing the waters in Indonesia since April, just announced a round of funding.
So, you like hardware startups? Well here’s one that may have enormous implications in a market where motorcycles make up more than half the vehicles on the road. Express Bike Wash, an India-based automated motorcycle washing machine that’s been testing the waters in Indonesia since April, just announced a round of funding.
Mark Mobius, an emerging markets fund manager at Franklin Templeton Investments, invested in Express Bike Wash India earlier this year. Express Bike Wash Indonesia, a sister entity of Express Bike Wash India, recently raised angel investment from Edmund Tan, co-founder at Crowd Source Asia. The amount is undisclosed, and in the past, the company also took money from Ah Ventures in India.
(Update 9/28/15: Following Express Bike Wash’s request for clarification, the above paragraph has been updated to show that Express Bike Wash India and Express Bike Was Indonesia are two separate entities.)
Express Bike Wash is not your typical tech startup. The machine looks like something that will send you back in time if you step inside. It can do several types of washes, including simple water washes and complex wax washes. It also has internal brushes and sprayers that can get into the nooks and crannies of your bike. The firm says a basic water wash takes about two minutes, while one with soap takes around two minutes and thirty seconds. The third wash type, which uses a degreasing solution takes about three and a half minutes. A wash with a wax finish takes less than five minutes.
An underserved link in the value chain
Express Bike Wash doesn’t have an online component other than a landing page. However, it’s still one of the few startups we feel the need to cover, as Indonesia’s motorbike space is one that’s seen much attention in recent months. Jakarta’s notoriously bad traffic is one of the most observable problems to be solved in the archipelago. However, for those who do it right, the otherwise painful idiosyncrasy also presents a substantial opportunity. Go-Jek and GrabBike are two of the most talked about companies in the nation. With more working-class Indonesians quitting their day jobs to become motorcycle drivers — sometimes earning more income while setting their own hours — the number of motorbikes on the street is increasing.
“We truly believe that this machine will bring a revolution in the Indonesian motorbike cleaning market,” said Kailash Raghuwanshi, the firm’s director of global operations, “We are excited about the huge market opportunity, and are looking forward to hearing from potential partners and clients so as to tap [it] together.”
Raghuwanshi is no stranger to building startups in emerging markets. In the past, he worked for Rocket Internet, and helped the firm expand in Southeast Asia. In 2014, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Mountain Partners in Jakarta. Apart from Express Bike Wash, he is also a venture partner at the soon-to-launch Jakarta branch of Indian startup investment firm Anthill Ventures.
Putting streetside operations out of business
Raghuwanshi said the Express Bike Wash machine is already a proven concept in India, and the company’s client list includes service centers of Honda Group, several big-name malls, a handful of petrol pump stations, and more.Raghuwanshi will head up the Indonesian operation with the help and advice of Express Bike Wash’s co-founders Jigar Vora, Niraj Taskande, and Bhushan Karn.
In Indonesia, Express Bike Wash sees a myriad of competitors, including the nation’s informal bike wash economy that’s made up of makeshift roadside businesses. It also sees competition in the form of companies like KKE Wash Systems, and others. However,Raghuwanshi said Express Bike Wash’s rates match those of the typical streetside bike wash, clocking in at a little less than Rp 15,000 ($1.00). On the price front, he believes his startup can be competitive.
Express Bike Wash India plans to roll out several hundred on-site machines in the next few years, and hopes to solidify its name as a go-to brand for motorbike washing in both emerging markets.
This post was originally published on Tech in Asia.
Featured Image Credit: Tech in Asia.