Aurangabad-based Clear Car Rental Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates online cab booking service Clear Car Rental,claims to have roped in more than 1,100 fleet operators. According to Sachin Kate, founder, Clear Car Rental, the startup has already achieved break even.
Incorporated in November 2011 by Kate, the startup provides rent-a-car and online car booking services across 210 cities in the country. It aggregates cars from various operators and provides one-way, round trip, multi city, as well as special tour packages to both end consumers and corporates. Kate holds an MBA in international marketing from Mumbai Institute of Management and Research. Prior to setting up Clear Car Rental, he was director at Netmantle Informatics. Earlier, he also founded Infogird Solutions, a web-solutions firm.
Apart from the metros, the company also provides its services in Tier III cities such as Baltal (Jammu & Kashmir), Vapi (Gujarat), Chikmagalur (Karnataka), Manmad and Shirdi (Maharashtra), Alleppey (Kerala), Arakkonam (Tamil Nadu) and Siliguri (West Bengal). It claims its vehicle inventory has already crossed the 10,000 mark. The cars offered by the firm include Tata Indica in compact segment; Chevrolet Tavera and Mahindra Scorpio in economy SUV; Tata Indigo, Maruti Swift Dzire, Mahindra Logan in economy sedan; Toyota Innova and Mahindra Xylo in Luxury SUV; Toyota Corolla and Honda City in luxury sedan and also Tata Winger.
"Companies such as Olacabs and Meru Cabs provide services in point-to-point segment and operating only in a few metros. We are far ahead of them both in terms of reach and the services. We also provide an option of multicity car rental services which allows users to visit multiple cities in a fixed time which is not provided by our competitors," Kate said. "Also, we want to make car rentals available to the masses and this will be possible only we reach smaller cities along with bigger ones."
While the company does not charge any booking fee from its customers, it takes around 10 per cent of the total fare amount from the fleet owners share for every booking they receive through the company's platform. With around 100 staff, Clear Car Rental has two offices in Aurangabad and is planning to increase this number to six.
According to the founder, the car rental market in India is estimated to be around Rs 25,000 crore and the existing players have not even taken 10 per cent of the total market share. "The car rental market in India is huge and unorganised therefore the competition is not intense. Only 2-5 per cent of the total market has been organised by online car aggregators as of now," said Kate.
Talking about challenges, Kate said, "Educating our partners (vendors and their teams) on the importance of providing effective and smooth car rental services is a major challenge. Additionally, organising this huge unorganised market and persuading fleet owners to do their business differently by aligning with us is also a key challenge." The company is also looking to raise a sizeable amount (the founder did not share an exact range) in VC funding for expansion and technology improvement.
The online cab booking/hiring segment has recently seen a lot of action. Active players in the space include
Last month, Olacabs received $3.2 million from Tiger Global, while TaxiForSure raised an undisclosed funding from Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. Another emerging player, Zoom recently got $200,000 in angel funding.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)