Germany’s Wunder Mobility bets on carpooling to combat India’s pollution problem

New Delhi: With India home to seven of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world, Germany-based mobility solutions provider Wunder is pitching carpooling as an effective remedy to the alarming levels of vehicular pollution in the country.
Wunder has drawn up an aggressive expansion strategy for India, starting with the national capital, and has also begun actively engaging with the central and state governments, a top company executive said. Having achieved a user base of more than 300,000 in Delhi and more than one million rides in 2018, Wunder is now looking to make carpooling a pure business model this year through cost optimisation and revenue generation, its India Marketing Manager Vivek Kumar said.

Hamburg-headquartered Wunder Mobility, which is focusing on both B2B and B2C models by tying up with corporates and offering its carpooling platform directly to end-users, is also betting on B2G or ‘business to government’ as a key growth strategy going forward, he said.

“Our main source of revenue is charging a small platform fees per ride,” Kumar said, referring to a percentage component it charges on total compensation that a car owner earns during the journey. “We are also looking for additional models for revenue generation like subscription and partnerships.”

Wunder is reaching out to Niti Aayog besides other central and state government departments, as its seeks greater support and regulation from the authorities. Kumar pitched for proper guidelines by the government for carpooling to ensure best services for the consumers and also to address safety concerns especially for women.

He said Wunder’s main focus is on increasing the number of rides with more frequent carpools and on expanding the user base as a majority of revenue comes from platform fees.

“If carpooling needs to be presented as one of the solutions to the existing traffic and pollution problems in cities, then it should be operated in a more regulated and transparent manner like setting mandatory requirement for proper ID verification process,” he said. As per estimates, vehicular pollution accounts for about 11 per cent of the nation’s carbon emissions and is a key source of air pollution.
While the company, which recorded 40 per cent month-on-month growth in the number of rides in 2018, is mainly focusing on Delhi market, it is already present in two other Indian cities – Mumbai and Bengaluru. Globally, it is present in Manila and Rio De Janeiro as well.

NT Bureau