Indore-based online outstation taxi marketplace InstaCar has received $1 million (Rs 6.65 crore) in seed round of funding from Hong kong-based Swastika Company Pvt Ltd, Ishan Vyas, co-founder of InstaCar told TechCircle.
The two-months-old company aims to use the funds for scaling up operations, marketing, and brand building.
InstaCar Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs InstaCar, was founded in August by Vyas, Anurag Gupta and Priyanshi Choubey. Vyas and Choubey are both second time entrepreneurs and had earlier co-founded Aspricot, a web and software development services firm. Gupta, an IIM Kolkata alumnus, runs a chain of unisex salons - 'Shear Genius.'
InstaCar provides inter-city car rentals solutions to commuters, offering one-way fare ride to commuters for outstation trips up to 400kms. The startup claims that their USP is that they don't just provide any car, but offer choice of car make, model, luggage carrier and other options at the time of the booking to commuters.
"We provide on-the-go snacks, water bottles, tissue papers, among others, to ensure that the customer feels comfortable," added Choubey.
The pricing of the trip varies from car to car and is also based on the services provided by the driver. The startup currently provides services in Indore, Ujjain, Bhopal, Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune region and has over 500 cars.
Besides InstaCar, Swastika has invested in Bangalore-based Quarto India Internet Pvt. Ltd which operates curated online marketplace for used books called AbeRuk; Gurgaon-based on-demand concierge startup Qlivery; Noida-based restaurant deals startup Pocketin; and Gurgaon-based beauty and wellness startup Stylofie.
While a few funded ventures such as Meru, TaxiGuide and Savaari, AHA Taxis and Roder do offer booking platforms for outstation travel, the market still remains largely unorganised, dominated by individual taxi operators. Other firms that are trying to disrupt the inter-city road travel market include Naspers-owned Ibibo's Ryde, Rocket Internet's Tripda and BlaBla car.
In July, Inter-city taxi service provider Wiwigo Technologies Pvt. Ltd raised Rs 4 crore (around $595,000 million) from Indian Angel Network (IAN) and two high-net-worth individuals.
In the same month inter-city cab rental platform MyTaxiIndia Pvt. Ltd raised $1 million (Rs 6.65 crore) in a bridge round of funding from existing investor Nihon Kotsu Co. for expansion.
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