Private equity firm WestBridge Capital-backed Carzonrent India Pvt Ltd, which runs radio cab services besides offering self-drive car rental and fleet management services, has acquired Bangalore-based 42 Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs a ride sharing app RidingO, for an undisclosed amount, it said.
With the acquisition, Carzonrent expects ride-share business to account for over 75 per cent of its business in five years. It will continue to use the RidingO brand name.
New Delhi-based Carzonrent, which started as a corporate leasing and cab rental service provider in 2000 by Rajiv Vij, also owns Easy Cabs cab service and MYLES, a self-drive venture. Its car lease division has a fleet of about 2,000 cars and about 135 corporate clients. It is now focusing on the consumer side of the business.
The company is backed by WestBridge Capital, BTS Advisors and SIDBI Venture, which had together invested about Rs 80 crore for about 32 per cent stake in 2012.
Founded in 2013 by former data scientist of HP R&D Labs Srivatsan Mohan, and an ex-employee of analytics startup Marketelligent, Vardhan Koshal, RidingO is backed by GSF Accelerator and Sol Primero.
RidingO connects car owners to people looking for a ride within a city. At present, it claims over 8,500 registered users in Bangalore and enables over 400 trips per day.
“The biggest opportunity in personal ground transportation in coming years, will be in building a shared ecosystem that helps car owners use their assets with others. RidingO will help us get there,” Rajiv K Vij, MD and CEO, Carzonrent, said.
“Ride share will be the next revolution in ground transport. RidingO needed to tackle the supply side and build scale. Carzonrent helps them do that,” Rajesh Sawhney, founder GSF Accelerator, said.
In October last year, Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Auto Service Co Ltd and Sumitomo Corporation through their joint venture firm SMAS Auto Leasing India Pvt Ltd agreed to acquire the auto leasing business of Carzonrent for an undisclosed amount.
Earlier seen as a pure offline cab operator, Carzonrent had three years ago acquired Qcabs, an online cab aggregator to take on its newer rivals such as Ola, among others. With RidingO, it is moving further to add to its tech-enabled transport solutions.
Ride sharing or car pooling is not new. However, much of it is in unorganised sector. Others which are offering similar apps include Car Pool and Let’s Drive Along.
Cubito, another player in this space, recently pivoted to B2B employee transportation management platform due to its inability to achieve scale.
In the inter-city or city-to-city space, two new global players entered the market. Accel Partners- and European VC firm Index Ventures-backed online carpooling venture BlaBlaCar forayed into India in January while Rocket Internet-backed carpooling firm Tripda, entered India late last year.
At a global level, BlaBlaCar competes with Uber, which operates a carpooling service called UberPool in some markets. UberPool is not available in India yet.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)