#India’s Bounce raises $72 million to grow its electric scooters business https://tcrn.ch/2IkINyx

Bounce, a Bangalore-based startup that offers more than 5,000 electric scooters for rent in India, has raised $72 million to accelerate its bid to impact how people navigate India’s traffic-clogged urban areas.

The Series C funding round for the five-year-old startup was led by B Capital — the VC firm founded by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin — and Falcon Edge Capital. Chiratae Ventures, Maverick Ventures, Omidyar Network India, Qualcomm Ventures, and existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners India also participated in the round.

This new money means that the startup has raised $92 million to date. The current round valued it at more than $200 million, a person familiar with the matter said.

Bounce, formerly known as Metro Bikes, operates in Bangalore. Its app allows users to pick up a scooter and, when their ride is finished, drop it off at any parking spot. It charges customers based on the time and model of electric scooter they choose. An hour-long ride could cost as little as Rs 15 (21 cents). The startup claims it has already clocked two million rides. 

Vivekananda Hallekere, co-founder and CEO of Bounce, told TechCrunch in an interview that the startup plans to use the fresh capital to add over 50,000 electric scooters to its fleets by the end of the year. Additionally, Bounce, which employs about 200 people, plans to enter more cities in India and invest in growing its tech infrastructure and head count.

“We have about ten metro and non-metro cities in mind. Starting next quarter, we will start to expand in those cities,” he said. The startup also aims to service one million rides in the next one year.

Hallekere said Bounce, which currently offers IoT hardware and design for the scooters, is also working on building its own form factor for scooters.

The rise of Bounce comes as it bets that shared two-wheeler vehicles — already a common mode of transportation in the nation — will play an important role in the future of ride-sharing, with electric vehicles replacing petrol ones.

This bet has gained more momentum in recent years. Startups such as Yulu, which partnered with Uber earlier this year to conduct a trial in Bangalore, Vogo, which raised money from Uber rival Ola, and Ather Energy have expanded their businesses and gained the backing of major investors.

Their adoption, though still in their nascent stages, is increasingly proving that for millions of people rides from Uber and Ola are just too expensive for their wallets. Besides, in jam-packed traffic in Bangalore and Delhi and other cities in India, two wheels are more efficient than four.

https://tcrn.ch/2IkINyx

#A diversity and inclusion playbook https://tcrn.ch/2MR4o6d

You’d be hard-pressed to find a tech company that said it wished it had waited longer to implement on diversity and inclusion efforts. The examples of tech companies “doing it right” in this industry are few and far between, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth trying. And for those that want to try, there’s a clear playbook to follow.

Where tech companies seem to go wrong is around implementing one-off initiatives such as unconscious bias training, employee resource groups or hiring a head of diversity and inclusion. Alone, these initiatives are not effective. But implementing those together, along with other initiatives, can create lasting change inside tech companies.

More than 10 years ago, Freada Kapor Klein, co-founder of Kapor Capital and the Kapor Center for Social Impact, published her groundbreaking book, “Giving Notice,” about the hidden biases people face in the workplace. In it, Kapor Klein laid out five key strategies as part of a comprehensive approach to addressing inclusion within tech companies. In order for it to be effective, companies must implement every single initiative.

This approach, which is applicable to this day, entails instituting policies practices and principles; implementing formal and informal problem-solving procedures; devising customized training based on organizational needs; ask more specific questions on employee surveys and break down data demographically; and ensure accountability from the top. 

https://tcrn.ch/2MR4o6d

#Let’s Talk About Things That Matter http://bit.ly/2WKex4l

We often don’t like to talk about things that make us uncomfortable. As a result, we try to change the subject and focus on the weather. The funny thing is, the weather is real, and if I tried to deny it, you would not talk to me.

Let’s talk about the weather

Let’s imagine we are standing in the rain:

You: “Raining hard, isn’t it?

Me: “I don’t see rain.”

In this situation, my response would be unsettling. If I continued to try to convince you that I did not see rain, while we were both being rained on, you would probably become very uncomfortable. Yet I am often told, “I don’t see your color.”

What if I told you, “Things that are important to you don’t matter to me.” That, I imagine, would also be uncomfortable.

The definition of caring

When my mother died several years ago, people who barely knew me said extraordinarily kind things to me. Even casual acquaintances seemed to be able to find a simple combination of words to show they could relate to the pain of losing a parent or loved one.

Not one person ever said to me, “That doesn’t matter to me—I only see you.” No one said, “I don’t care about your mother’s death, I just care about you,” or “You are more than a son.”

Caring, by its very definition, means that things matter.

I would have been offended if someone had told me that they didn’t care about my mother’s death, because it mattered enormously to me. And because it mattered to me, it mattered to people who cared about me, even those who only knew me slightly.

I get these things wrong, too

Some time ago, a friend told me that he was gay. My response was, “That doesn’t matter to me. I just see you.”

What I didn’t realize at the time was that my response belittled something that was very personal and important to my friend. To his credit—or maybe because I mattered to him—he let the moment pass, and showed me understanding.

When people tell me, “I don’t see color,” referring to the color of my skin, it makes me feel like I do not matter. By saying this, they are telling me not only that my experience as a person of color doesn’t matter—they are denying that my experience even exists. The color of my skin is part of me, and given the world we all live in, it has shaped my life—just as the color of your skin has shaped your life.

Yet even though I had experienced this hurt myself, I made the same mistake with my friend. I was trying to tell him that I loved him—but what I actually told him was that something important to him was not important to me. I unintentionally told him that to me, his reality didn’t even exist. It was hurtful regardless of how I meant it.

Words matter

The words we choose matter.

What should I have said when my friend came out to me? Sometimes a good friend just listens. If I could relive that moment, I would tell him: “I am honored that our friendship has developed to the point where you want to share something that is important to you. You matter. What matters to you is important to me.”

June is LGBT Pride month. Take a moment and share kindness. Let your friends and family know they matter. Let them know you love them because of all the things that make them who they are.

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