Delhi-NCR-based bike taxi startup Bikxie has raised Rs 2 crore ($315,200) from GEMs Partners, a micro venture capital fund, and Sachin Khandelwal, the former chief executive and managing director at non-banking finance company Magma Fincorp, a company statement said.
The company will utilise the funds to upgrade its technology and infrastructure, speed up internal growth and expand operations to other cities, the statement added.
Khandelwal has also held stints at private sector lender ICICI Bank and automobile major Honda Cars India.
Owned and operated by Madhatters Voyage Pvt. Ltd., Bikxie was founded by Mohit Sharma, Divya Kalia and Dennis Ching in January 2016. It offers last-mile connectivity to commuters via bike taxis in Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Sharma is an alumnus from NMIMS Mumbai, Kalia, a post-graduate in Economics from GIPE Pune, and Ching has an MBA degree from ITM Mumbai. Sharma has previously worked with HSBC, American Express and ICICI Bank, while Kalia has worked with Boston Consulting Group and Royal Bank of Scotland. Ching worked with Volkswagen Finance prior to launching the startup.
“Over the last one year or so, we have been able to successfully boost our revenues by expanding our offering to corporates as well, thus leading to higher bike optimisation. The fresh capital from GEMs will help us to scale up quickly within the NCR market and also expand to other cities,” Sharma said.
The bike startup offers an all-female service named ‘Bikxie Pink’ for women, where the bikes are driven by female pilots.
“The sharing economy is the next big thing. Bikxie has a huge market potential and growth is immense. The fact that the concept validation is proved with assets already operating at profitable margins along with the founders’ experience and commitment played a huge part in our decision making,” Aditya Gupta of GEMS Partners said.
The company had last raised funds in an angel round in January 2016 from an investment banker in the Middle East and a businessman based in South India. Previously, it had secured seed investment from a private equity professional.
Bike taxi services are gaining significant momentum in India. Two prominent players in the space Rapido and Baxi have raised multiple rounds of investments over the past few years.
In its most recent round in November 2017, bike pooling and taxi startup Rapido raised Rs 2.14 crore ($329,230) from US-based Skycatcher Fund and UK-based Thompson Taraz Managers.
Between June and July last year, Rapido had raised Rs 2.75 crore ($422,000) in a round led by US-based Battery Road Digital Holdings LLC. Existing investor Astarc Ventures and an undisclosed Indian technology fund also participated in the round. Rapido operates in Bangalore, Delhi and now in Hyderabad.
Baxi, run by 74 BC Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was also raising funds, its co-founder Ashutosh Johri told VCCircle in June. The company had previously raised $1.4 million in seed funding in November 2015. The startup operates its services in parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
Besides these, Noida-based bike taxi and delivery app N.O.W has recently raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the promoters of Hero Electric, the two-wheeler manufacturer and part of the Hero Group.
In July 2017, VCCircle reported that cab aggregator Ola was attempting to launch its bike taxi service, Ola Bike, in Kolkata. At that time, the firm had initiated talks with local bike taxi players such as OneManTaxi and K Bike for strategic partnerships or buyouts.
Uber, too, had plans to beef up its bike taxi service UberMOTO. According to industry insiders, hyperlocal delivery startup Runnr, which was acquired by Zomato, also briefly flirted with the idea of launching a bike taxi service.