Online taxi booking services have been one of the hottest segments in consumer internet space with a whole bunch startups raising funding in the first half of 2012. What has happened since then is that the startups which were essentially strong in their home base or city of origin (Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai essentially) have expanded into newer markets.
Serendipity Infolabs Pvt Ltd, that runs the online taxi booking site TaxiForSure.com in Bangalore, is one of them which has started operations in Delhi.
TaxiForSure is an aggregator of taxis and its services include local point to point taxis, airport transfer taxis, half-day/full-day packages and outstation packages. Besides regular taxis, it also provides booking for luxury cars like Rolls Royce Phantom, Hummer, Limousines, Jaguar, Audi A6, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S class, among others.
According to Aprameya Radhakrishna, founder and director, TaxiForSure.com, the firm is currently doing around 800-900 bookings a day in Bangalore. “We have both modes, online and phone call but people prefer to use the phone. We are trying to change that by enhancing the online booking to help people shift to online booking of taxi,” he said.
The company was founded by Raghunandan G and Radhakrishna, both engineering graduates from NITK Surathkal and management degree holders from IIM Ahmedabad. Before co-founding TaxiForSure in June 2011, Radhakrishna worked as the head of business development for PDS at Jones Lang LaSalle, India. He has also worked at Infosys. Raghunandan earlier worked with Feedback Ventures as a consultant.
TaxiForSure is backed by Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures, from whom it raised an undisclosed seed round last year.
It is now looking to raise another internal round from the same investors for expansion plans this year. “For the next round we are not looking to raise a very big amount, we just want to set the stage for the Series B from this,” said Radhakrishna.
Radhakrishna also said that the firm is planning to expand operations to 15 more cities and after Delhi, TaxiForSure will go to Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.
The startup currently has around 150 people on board of which majority are in the operations, Radhakrishna said. It has an internal call centre facility.
Some of the other VC-backed online cab booking startups include Mumbai-based Olacabs, Inventus Capital Partners-backed Savaari car rentals, Yourcabs.com, which raised angel funding from Sprism Investment Pvt Ltd.
(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)