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Exclusive: Rapido raises fresh funding from Battery Road Digital Holdings, others

25 September, 2017

Bangalore-based Roppen Transportation Services Pvt. Ltd, which operates bike taxi startup Rapido, has raised Rs 2.75 crore ($422,000) in a fresh funding round led by US-based Battery Road Digital Holdings LLC, filings with the Registrar of Companies show.

Existing investor Astarc Ventures and an undisclosed Indian technology fund also participated in this round. The company raised this sum between June and July this year, the filings state.

The company allocated preferential shares at a subscription price of Rs 12, 858. This is higher than the subscription price at which it raised its pre-Series A round in April last year.

In that round, the company had raised Rs 3.44 crore through a mix of preference and equity shares. The preference shares were issued at Rs 10, 797, while the equity shares were issued at Rs 10, 887 a piece.

The development comes after VCCircle reported in June this year that Rapido was in advanced stages of closing a $3 million fundraising round, which will see participation from new and existing investors. It is not clear whether the current fundraise is part of the larger funding round reported in June.

Rapido’s co-founders Aravind Sanka, Rishikesh SR and Pavan Guntupalli did not reply to e-mail queries seeking more information on this funding round.

Regulatory filings also showed that the company had sought shareholder approval to raise Rs 1 crore for an unsecured loan from Hero Fincorp Limited, the NBFC arm of Hero Motocorp, which finances commercial and corporate vehicle purchases. Pawan Munjal, the chairman of Hero Motocorp is also one of Rapido’s investors.

The company is also backed by Google country head Rajan Anandan, Curefit co-founder and former Flipkart executive Ankit Nagori, and People Group CEO Anupam Mittal.

Rapido was founded by IIT alumni Sanka, Rishikesh and Guntupalli in November 2015. Users can book bike rides for solo trips via a mobile app. Rapido operates in Bangalore and Delhi.

Earlier this month, VCCircle had reported that Rapido was in advanced stages of talks to acquire Hyderabad-based Vave Infosolutions India Pvt. Ltd, which runs motorcycle-sharing startup Getbike. The acquisition is expected to help Rapido launch its Hyderabad operations.

Dozens of bike taxi startups had sprouted across various states in the past two years but many of them shutdown due to a lack of funding, operational challenges, and regulatory hurdles. However, the scenario seems to have improved of late with the big boys in transportation service aggregation—Ola and Uber—entering the market.

Rapido’s close competitor Baxi, incorporated as 74 BC Technologies Pvt. Ltd, is also raising an undisclosed amount, co-founder Ashutosh Johri had told VCCircle recently . “We are making a profit on every transaction now. We are raising funds for scaling up the network,” he said. Baxi had previously raised $1.4 million seed funding in November 2015. Baxi runs its services in parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Cab aggregator Ola, which also operates a bike-sharing service, had scouted for buyouts in the bike taxi segment but it did not work out. Uber, too, had plans to beef up its bike taxi service UberMOTO. Paytm-backed three-wheeler aggregator Jugnoo also has plans to enter the segment. According to industry insiders, hyperlocal delivery startup Runnr, which was recently acquired by Zomato, also briefly flirted with the idea of launching a bike taxi service.

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Exclusive: Rapido raises fresh funding from Battery Road Digital Holdings, others

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