Bengaluru Startup’s Sustainable Bicycle and Toy Revolution
Children often outgrow their toys and bicycles quickly, leading to these items either cluttering up homes or being thrown away, contributing to global waste. In response to this issue, a group of friends and co-founders, including Pruthvi Gowda, Hrishikesh H S, Roopesh Shah, and Sapna M S, created GroClub, a startup aimed at reducing the use of disposable products. These co-founders, who are also parents of kids aged 4 to 15, witnessed the problem firsthand.
They launched GroClub to provide a sustainable alternative for owning products without excessive consumption. GroClub, which began operating in Bengaluru in January, offers bicycles on a subscription basis. They not only deliver bicycles to your doorstep but also take care of maintenance to ensure safe and enjoyable rides. This approach helps combat the growing issue of bicycle waste in India, which often ends up in landfills, causing pollution and resource depletion.
In addition to children’s bicycles, GroClub offers adult bicycles starting at Rs 549 per month. Their subscription cost averages around Rs 6,000 per year or Rs 500 per month. These bicycles, designed in-house, are built to last at least 10 years. When a subscription period ends, GroClub retrieves the bicycle, refurbishes it, and offers it to the next subscriber. This is a more sustainable and cost-effective option compared to buying new bicycles, which can cost between Rs 5,000 and Rs 20,000.
GroClub has gained popularity with 5,300 customers, generating revenue of Rs 20 lakh in FY-22 and Rs 1.5 crore in FY23. Their current monthly income stands at approximately Rs 25 lakh, with a projected revenue of Rs 3 crore for FY24. They consider Bike Club as one of their competitors.
Embracing the principles of the circular economy, GroClub challenges the “take-make-dispose” approach and promotes the “reduce-reuse-regenerate” mindset. They prioritize sustainable product design, implement take-back initiatives, foster collaborations, educate consumers, and ensure transparency to contribute meaningfully to waste reduction and the establishment of a circular economy.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 2 crore from the co-founders, GroClub has secured Rs 4.3 crore in funding at a valuation of Rs 25 crore. Their pre-seed round in June was led by Ramaiah Evolute, a startup wing of MS Ramaiah Group. An angel consortium, including various investors, also participated in the round.
GroClub plans to expand its product range to include children’s carry cots, car seats, strollers, bunk beds, and toys. The Indian toys market reached $1.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $3.0 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 12.2% during 2023-2028, according to IMARC Group. GroClub is also in advanced discussions for its next funding round, aiming to raise funds to expand into neighboring markets such as Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai.
Their future plans include onboarding around 150,000 customers from these four markets, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai, within the next two years.
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