BLive, since 2018 is proposing immersive curated E-bike tours across 15 cities in 9 states. In 2020 BLive launched India’s first omnichannel EV Retail Platform offering all top brands of EVs under one roof.
The duo, Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee, recalled and went back a long way, almost 20 years. While Samarth was living in Europe, Sandeep got exposed to an evolved ecosystem. Samarth was born and brought up in Goa, and he was familiar with the issues of pollution created in a tourist destination like Goa.
Together they decided to create BLive, a sustainable and eco-friendly way of discovering a location on Ebikes.
Meet the Founders
BLive was commenced in Goa. Samarth Kholkar and Sandeep Mukherjee are the Co-Founders of the company. Samarth Kholkar, the CEO, is a Senior Sales Professional at IBM Global for ten years. He oversees the growth, customer experience and technology practices at BLive.
Samarth, an alumnus of the Goa Institute of Management, spent over a decade in Sales and Marketing at IBM, where he was a pivotal person in setting up the IBM Cloud business in India. Also, he was the CEO of Mojo Hospitality for two years, where he made a successful exit after scaling up the business.
Sandeep Mukherjee, the COO, steers business Planning, brand strategy and strategic partnerships at BLive. Sandeep has always theorised that the EV market is poised towards bringing about the next revolution in the mobility industry. Alumni of SCMHRD business school have over 13 years of marketing and strategy experience with Nokia, Microsoft and SABMiller.
The Essence of the Startup
According to the company, BLive is the only brand that offers EVs a great experience through experiential tours on Ebikes. The EV store provides a wide range of Electric 2 wheelers to decide from across brands and categories.
The Stumbling Blocks
Talking about the challenges faced, the company states that they had their share of growing pains. Like any other company, they faced challenges finding the right talent, which they oversaw by inviting people from outside Goa to join them.
Finding the initial capital was an excursion for them.
The company highlighted that they were fortunate that two of the most prominent business leaders of Goa, Mr Shivanand Salgaocar and Mr Shrinivas Dempo, backed their venture. They stated that sometimes in Goa, people feel cut off from the significant Startup hubs like Bangalore, Gurgaon. However, the Goa startup promotion cell helped bridge that gap with regular interactions, webinars and industry connections.
BLive was awarded a 20-year contract by the Govt of Goa to drive EV tourism in Goa. This was a significant milestone and provided them with a great runaway to create an EV tourism infrastructure in Goa.
Business Model And Revenue Strategies
BLive has two sources of revenue that work synergistically. BLive tours generate an Average selling price of INR 2,000 per guest. Each time is conducted as a guided tour by an experienced local partner, which lasts about 3 hours and showcases local experiences. The local partner is on a contractual revenue share agreement earning 25% of the revenue.
BLive EV Store is an online marketplace that retails all the top brands on the portal www.store.blive.co.in. The average selling price is INR 40,000. The products are shipped directly by the brands to the customers in a D2C model. The EV store also offers customised EV solutions for B2B customers and fleet owners.
As the company thrived further to 15 locations in India, they raised over $1 million from investors like DNA entertainment, Mumbai Angels, Lets Venture and JITO.
Into the Future
BLive plans to expand their E-Bike tours business to about 50+ locations in the next two years with a Fleet of 100 bikes. The EV store will be going omnichannel with 20 Offline stores Pan India with over 30 Ebike brands listed on store.