Rapido, Bangalore based bike taxi operator, has raised an undisclosed amount in Pre Series A funding. This round of funding saw investments by Pawan Munjal (Chairman, MD & CEO of Hero MotoCorp), Astarc Ventures, AdvantEdge Partners, Anupam Mittal (Founder, People Group), Harish Bahl (founder of Smile Group), Ankit Nagori (ex CBO, Flipkart), Rajan Anandan (MD Google India & SEA) and Kunal Khattar (co-founder of Carnation Auto).
As urban mobility continues to be a challenge in India and other developing nations across Asia, we have seen a rise in number of bike taxi startups. Soon after Indonesia and Thailand, we saw the trend picking up in India. There have been certain challenges to this but the regulators are slowly opening up to the idea as it promises affordable mobility solution to commuters and travellers without adding much to the urban traffic.
Rapido was started by Aravind Sanka, Pavan G and Rishikesh Sr in November 2015 and the service allows its users to book a ride through a mobile app. At this point they are operating in Bangalore, Gurgaon and Delhi. Along with the typical app based booking services, it offers some unique features like quick booking and favourite routes for commuters. It also offers a missed call booking service as an alternate to using the app.
According to co-founder Aravind Sanka, the funds will be used to expand operations to other cities and also to strengthen the team. He also highlighted that some of the unique features that the service boasts of have been incorporated after observing and understanding the customers. At this point, Rapido has got around 400 bikes across the three regions and plans to increase the number to about 1,000 over the next 2 months. Over a short period of time, they have delivered more than 1,25,000 rides with a very significant fraction of repeat customers.
Cab hailing companies Uber and Ola recently introduced bike taxis in India but faced some regulation issues soon after the launch. While some state governments are supporting the service, others have deemed them illegal due to the lack of proper rules in place for such a service. With more players entering this space, things will certainly change soon. Some other startups like Baxi and M-Taxi are also competing in the same space. It will be interesting to see how things turn out in this space.
You can find more details on rapido.bike/