Rapido, a bike taxi operator, has received an undisclosed amount of funding in pre-Series A round from a set of angel investors including Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal and Google India head Rajan Anandan.
The participants for this round include Anupam Mittal, founder and chief executive officer of People Group; Ankit Nagori, former chief business officer, Flipkart; Kunal Khattar, co-founder of Carnation Auto, along with early stage investment firms AdvantEdge Partners and Astarc Ventures.
The company will use funds to expand its team and further expand its business to other geographical locations. It currently has a fleet of 400 bikes across Bangalore, Gurugram and Delhi and is is set to touch 1,000 over the next two months.
Commenting on the funding, Aravind Sanka, Co-founder at Rapido said,
The funds will be deployed for Rapido’s expansion into other cities and building up the team. A majority of our customers use us as a daily commute option since we have built the product with deep understanding of their needs. We have unique features such as quick booking, favorite routes and multiple modes of booking including missed call booking service.
Rapido was earlier known as theKarrier and was offering intra-city truck services. Later, it changed its business model in November 2015 to launch Rapido. It was founded by Aravind Sanka, Pavan G and Rishikesh Sr.
Rapido charges commission from riders in Gurugram. The base fare in Gurugram is Rs. 15 with an additional Rs. 5 per kilometer. However, in Bangalore and Delhi, it doesn’t charge any commission from riders due to regulatory limitations around bike taxis.
The company claims to have surpassed the 50,000 app downloads mark and has completed more than 1,25,000 rides so far. As per the company, 85% of its rides are from repeat customers and 10% of the customers are women.
Pawan Munjal, who invested in the current round, said:
In a rapidly-changing demographics and socio-economic environment, urban mobility in the country is undergoing an evolution with people looking for alternative modes of transport, convenience and comfort. Rapido is a commendable initiative and has the potential to generate significant employment, besides making convenient motorized transport accessible to the masses.
While there are more than 20 bike taxi startups in India, only few startups, including Bikxie, Baxi and M-Taxi have raised significant amount of funding. However,
It is not an easy task running a bike taxi business in India as the regulation related to it are complex and not clear. In fact, only Haryana and Goa are the two states in India that acknowledges two-wheeler bikes as commercial passenger transport service providers.