Home > Internet > IAN, others invest under $600K in inter-city taxi platform Wiwigo


IAN, others invest under $600K in inter-city taxi platform Wiwigo

Sunil Chaula, founder & CEO, Wiwigo

Sunil Chaula, founder & CEO, Wiwigo

Inter-city taxi service provider Wiwigo Technologies Pvt. Ltd has raised Rs 4 crore (around $595,000 million) from Indian Angel Network (IAN) and two high-net-worth individuals, it said in a statement.

IAN investors Priyank Shankar Garg and Harsh Chitale led the funding round. Garg will join Wiwigo’s board.

Launched in April 2015, Wiwigo is an online platform to search, compare and book outstation one-way and round-trip cabs.  Wiwigo’s services are available in over 40 cities in India, including Delhi, Bangalore and Pune. The company currently has 5,000 cabs and claims to have served around 25,000 customers to date.

The inter-city car rental market in India is approximately $9 billion and is growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12%. Around 90% of this market is unorganised and fragmented. According to the ministry of transport, inter-state passenger taxi revenues were estimated to be around $3.5 billion in 2012. Wiwigo estimates that the one-way taxi market is around $550 million.

“We aggregate demand on both the cities connected by a route and provide back-to-back bookings to our fleet, bringing down the cost to customer by up to 50%. The inter-city taxi market is mostly unorganised and dominated by offline agents. We aim to standardise it while adding value to the customers. With the growing number of drivers and vehicles, we shall be able to introduce ‘power smart pricing’ for customers in near future. This would enable customers to cut travelling cost by 20% more,” said Sunil Chaula, founder and CEO, Wiwigo.

The startup is looking to use the funding to expand its operations to more than 100 cities by the end of the current year.

“The team (Wiwigo) is determined and supported by great execution skills to build a profitable venture around a scalable ecosystem of vendors, OTAs and other travel service providers,” Garg said.

While a few funded ventures such as Meru, MyTaxiIndia, TaxiGuide, Savaari, AHA Taxis and Roder do offer booking platforms for outstation travel, the market still remains largely unorganised, dominated by individual taxi operators. Aggregators Savaari and Carzonrent are also among the early entrants. Other firms that are trying to disrupt the inter-city road travel market include Naspers-owned Ibibo’s Ryde, Rocket Internet’s Tripda and BlaBlaCar.

Most recently, inter-city cab rental platform MyTaxiIndia Pvt. Ltd raised $1 million in a bridge round of funding from existing investor Nihon Kotsu Co. for expansion.

Meru Cabs, the largest legacy player which also owns some of the vehicles on its platform, raised $25 million (Rs 150 crore) from Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of Bennett Coleman and Co (BCCL).

In January, Delhi-based Vecto Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates inter-city cab aggregator Roder, raised around $240,000 (about Rs 1.6 crore) in seed funding led by Unicorn India Ventures and a clutch of other investors.

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