Revolutionizing commute technology Hyd-based start-up- SEPAL bags Rs50 lakhs funding from Peyush Bansal on Shark Tank India
SEPAL, a truly Made-in-India product, is the world’s first-ever motorcycle canopy that protects thousands of bike riders from the sun, rain, cold, and pollution.
SEPAL, an officially recognized start-up of India by two IITian brothers, has secured Rs 50 lakh in funding in the second season of the popular business reality show Shark Tank India. The company accepted the offer of Lenskart’s Peyush Bansal for 2% equity. The company stated that they would utilize the raised funds to strengthen their extensive production for huge masses over the nation. SEPAL seems to have kickstarted a storm between backers and naysayers arguing over whether it makes any sense or not to put a huge windshield and canopy on your motorcycle. Even the sharks themselves seem pretty divided on what to make of SEPAL.
With Peyush Bansal rooting for the larger picture of what SEPAL could do if played right on one side and the rest of the sharks still unable to decide whether a common man would dare spend a few thousand bucks for taking care of him and his family while they are on a motorcycle. Hate it or love it, people can’t seem to ignore it, which is also the reason why the SEPAL team ended up on Shark Tank, as claimed by Kashyap Addepally, co-founder of SEPAL. “We haven’t considered coming to Shark Tank until people started spamming us with messages to go on to the show, some sarcastically to be roasted by the sharks and others who were genuinely rooting for SEPAL.”
Whether or not SEPAL is a lifesaver for most two-wheeler riders, it is a fact that In India, one in every three adults depends on a two-wheeler for their livelihood and daily needs. The problems faced by them daily are something no one can deny. Not just the Sun and Rain but also Windblasts which are painful & chilling in the winters and become tiresome & dehydrating in the summers, are some of the biggest issues that trouble a two-wheeler rider. And what to speak about City pollution nowadays (with all its construction sites, garbage trucks and diesel vehicles) is notorious for leaving bike riders in disarray after a hectic commute.
Interestingly enough, in the words of Vidhey Addepally, co-founder of SEPAL,” we at SEPAL are set out to provide all the two-wheeler riders with not just the physical comforts of a car but with all the infotainment features present in EVs as well”. This pushed Peyush to take a closer look at the IoT module and App functionality of SEPAL; it is so awesome it can turn an old Hero Honda bike into Smart Vehicle at par with the likes of Ola & Ather. Now that is some serious combination of Hardware and Software for a start-up to come up with, along with the gigantic size of the two-wheeler market in India and abroad, which must have been what convinced both Vidhey to drop out of his Stanford admission and Kashyap to let go of his thriving Design Practice to jump on to building for the 21st century India.
Whether Sharks were impressed by SEPAL or not, Peyush seems to feel that SEPAL is an opportunity to create a whole new industry instead of just entering into an existing one. Is this bet of Peyush to back SEPAL a good idea? Only the market will tell. For now, something seems to work in favour of SEPAL, as it has become an internet sensation since it launched in Feb of 2022 and people from different backgrounds seem to be using SEPAL. Parents are using it to take their kids to school, and several IT employees, students, marketing and salespeople are using it for their daily commutes. SEPAL is also becoming a trend among bike riding groups as it is very useful while on long tours. Interestingly, SEPAL is being used in 25 states across India and shipped to several foreign countries.
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